This essay attends to the force of aggression in Carolee Schneemann's work, emphasizing the conflicts in the artist's representation of enjoyment, knowledge, and truth in her own body, with a focus on Up To and Including Her Limits (1973–76) and the underexplored text “Anti-Demeter: The More I Give the More You Steal” (1994). Addressing how the latter presents an origin myth for the artist, the essay underscores Schneemann's struggle over questions of genealogy, alliance, influence, and debt. On the question of debt, particular attention is given to its quality of ambivalence on terms of sexual difference, especially for father figures perceived as models of artistic expressivity, and the mothering body as a body of prohibition, labor, illness, and death. Examining the negation of the body, the role of aggression and violence, and the critique of the bind of “male fantasies” in Schneemann's work, the essay proposes a shift in feminist art historiography and its projections on Schneemann the artist. The essay asserts Schneemann's tale as a cautionary and self-reflexive one for those who come after, the would-be-daughters, who would negate the body, the struggle, the art yet again for the myth, in a time ripe for myth, in the wake of the artist's passing.

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