Different Kind of Intimacy: Collected Writings of Karen Finley

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A Different Kind of Intimacy will bring together for the first time a collection of performance artist Karen Finley's texts, performances, short stories, essays, op-eds, art and photographs, creating a unique memoir of a woman whose life and career have embodied the urgent cultural conflicts of our time. The writings include text from the infamous performances that brought her to the Supreme Court in Finley vs. NEA, a battle that became a mainstay of the culture wars and which has made Finley an icon in the ...

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Overview

A Different Kind of Intimacy will bring together for the first time a collection of performance artist Karen Finley's texts, performances, short stories, essays, op-eds, art and photographs, creating a unique memoir of a woman whose life and career have embodied the urgent cultural conflicts of our time. The writings include text from the infamous performances that brought her to the Supreme Court in Finley vs. NEA, a battle that became a mainstay of the culture wars and which has made Finley an icon in the struggle for freedom of speech. Included in this volume will be the never before published, Obie Award-winning The American Chestnut for which she received a Guggenheim; such works as We Keep Our Victims Ready, A Certain Level of Denial, The Return of the Chocolate Smeared Woman, and an excerpt from her forthcoming film Shut Up and Love Me. Also appearing will be previously unpublished short stories, photos, artwork, and an essay on censorship. In 1998 Finley was named Woman of the Year by MS. magazine; she posed for Playboy the following year. She has appeared in numerous films including Philadelphia, and will soon be directing her own first feature film, Shut Up and Love Me, produced by Forensic Films. She has recorded albums including a collaboration with Sinead O'Connor. Finley is a regular on Politically Incorrect and can be seen giving her opinions on Exhale, a new show hosted by Candace Bergen on Oxygen. She will be hosting The Naked Players, a "nude Candid Camera" as well as Shock Video, both on HBO. Finley has written four books: Shock Treatment, Enough Is Enough, Living It Up, and Pooh Unplugged. "We need Finley: she doesn't duck the bullets, she keeps her eyes peeled on the artillery aimed at women, and she continues to push against her own boundaries as an artist" — MS. Magazine

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1978, Karen Finley was arrested while portraying "a mix of red-light-district prostitute and locked-up psychopath" in the window of a defunct JC Penney. This was, as she puts it, "the beginning of my career causing psychic disturbances." In a retrospective that should appeal to fans and scholars of performance art, Finley, well-known as one of the NEA 4, presents the full scope of her socially conscious art, from performance texts and elaborate installations to segments of her already-published parodies of the self-help movement and Winnie-the-Pooh. Her direct imagery has forced her audience to look at the hopelessness of the disenfranchised, the cruelty of misogyny and the heartbreaking self-betrayal in a victim's own sense of shame. In short, muddled transitional essays, Finley describes her growth as an artist in the pressure cooker created by an eight-year First Amendment battle, the AIDS crisis and her father's suicide. Numerous photographs, drawings and reproduced documents, including a copy of her father's suicide note, deliver the visual context for her writings. Often distressing and downright ugly, this collection expresses the enormous personal and creative costs Finley absorbed while fighting in the culture wars, but, better yet, it presents the "organic explosion" at the heart of her confrontational art. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Finley, otherwise known as the "Chocolate Smear Lady," has shocked, provoked, and offended audiences for the past 20 years. One of the pioneering figures of American performance art, she reached national attention in 1990 as one of the NEA Four--four artists whose grants were revoked by the National Endowment for the Arts under the guise of decency standards. In her work, she addresses incest, AIDS, motherhood, and violence against women in a manner that is painfully personal. Often difficult to document, her work is perhaps best conveyed through her writings. Selections of Finley's plays, short stories, essays, performance scripts, photographs, and drawings, as well as proceedings from her Supreme Court case, NEA v. Karen Finley, are gathered here The most comprehensive publication to date of this important artist's work, this is recommended for all libraries with contemporary art materials.--Krista Ivy, Bryn Mawr Coll. Lib., PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Emily Drabinski
While the collection does provide a convenient way for readers to survey the widely changing directions of her artistic pursuits, we'd frankly rather see Finley live, nude, and on stage.
Out
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560252931
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Finley

Karen Finley: Karen Finley is a New York-based artist whose raw and transgressive performances have long provoked controversy and debate. She has appeared and exhibited her visual art, performances and plays internationally. Her performances have been presented at Lincoln Center, New York City; The Guthrie, Minneapolis; American Repertory Theatre; The ICA in London; Harvard; The Steppenwolf in Chicago; and The Bobino in Paris. Her artworks are in numerous collections and museums including the Pompidou in Paris and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

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