For her third solo show at moniquemeloche, Carrie Schneider presented her new single-channel video projection “Reading Women,” which was exhibited in progress during the summer of 2013 at the Mattress Factory Art Museum, Pittsburgh. The photographs from the “Reading Women” series were the focus of moniquemeloche’s solo booth by Carrie Schneider at The Armory Show March 6-9, 2014.
To create “Reading Women,” I asked 70 female friends – mostly artists, writers and musicians – to each sit while reading a book of her choice, written by a female author, in her own home or studio for the duration of two hours using side-by-side photographic and video cameras. There is something rare about the depth of concentration experienced while reading, and it’s this moment I’m after: when the sitter loses awareness of the camera – and any semblance of a pose – forgetting her cultural performance.
Whether she chose to read the hardcover first edition autographed copy of Angela Davis’ An Autobiography (1974) borrowed from her late grandmother, or chose to read (for the eighth time) the dog-eared, used paperback version of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (1927) – the sitter, her choice of book and its author, become linked. To underscore the importance of this connection, each photograph is titled after the sitter, the author, and the title and publication year of the book itself. Cumulatively, the archive reveals a constellation of influences and knowledge among my creative peers. – Carrie Schneider 2014