The Reality Shows

The Reality Shows

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by Karen Finley
     
 

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"Ms. Finley hasn't lost the power to disturb."—Ben Brantley, The New York Times

No other performing artist has captured the psychological complexity of this decade as Karen Finley has. In her inimitable style, she has embodied some of the most troubling figures to cast a long shadow on the public imagination, and has envisioned a kind of catharsis

Overview


"Ms. Finley hasn't lost the power to disturb."—Ben Brantley, The New York Times

No other performing artist has captured the psychological complexity of this decade as Karen Finley has. In her inimitable style, she has embodied some of the most troubling figures to cast a long shadow on the public imagination, and has envisioned a kind of catharsis within each drama: Liza Minnelli responds to the September 11 attacks; Terri Schiavo explains why Americans love a woman in a coma; Martha Stewart dumps George W. Bush during their tryst on the eve of the Republican National Convention; Silda Spitzer tells the former governor why “I’m sorry” just isn’t enough; and the ghost of Jackie O cries, “Please stop looking at me!" The Reality Shows is a revelation of a decade by one of our greatest interpreters of popular and political culture.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Finley (Shock Treatment) begins this showcase of recent work—performance, installation, conceptual, and visual art—with "Make Love," an homage to post-9/11 New York via "a cabaret-driven, lounge-style act that channels Liza Minnelli," who is used as a stand-in for the city and also to soften the subject for the audience. "The Passion of Terri Schiavo" allows Finley to examine the "political, ethical, and moral dilemmas" of the case, resulting in a feverish mantra told from multiple perspectives. The amusing "George and Martha" imagines a love affair between George W. Bush and Martha Stewart as a highly-eroticized Freudian romp both disturbing and hilarious. In her foreword, Hanna recalls an early show by Finley as "the most intensely vulnerable, perfectly crafted performance I'd ever seen," akin to "watching Patti Smith turn into Evel Knievel." Reproducing performance pieces as text, says Hanna, "lets you get at so many other layers of meaning." True, but it also serves as a sort of artistic kryptonite, stripping away what gives Finley much of her power. Illus. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

“[The Reality Shows] is a deeply "written" project, intended for the page as much as the stage.” —David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times

"Karen Finley is a profound theater-artist. Her artistry is due in part to her ability to alchemize 'news' and make it art. She takes the viewer by the throat as she screams, cajoles, and seduces us into some awareness of the world at large. Finley's brilliance lies in this fact, too: her insistence that we look at our respective souls by having us view her characters own, even as we want to look away. She is irreplaceable." —Hilton Als, New Yorker theater critic

"The Reality Shows gives you the words—the incantations on pages— that power Finley's performances and allow readers to linger in ways live audiences never can." —Lisa Duggan, author of Sapphic Slashers: Sex, Violence and American Modernity

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558616714
Publisher:
Feminist Press at CUNY, The
Publication date:
02/22/2011
Pages:
220
Sales rank:
1,184,946
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author


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.

She is the author of many books including Shock Treatment, Enough is Enough, Living It Up, Pooh Unplugged, A Different Kind Of Intimacy: The Collected Writings of Karen Finley, and George & Martha. She edited Aroused: A Collection of Erotic Writings.

Finley attended the San Francisco Art Institute receiving an MFA and honorary PhD. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including a Guggenheim, 2 Obies, 2 Bessies, Ms. magazine Woman of the Year, NARAL Person of the Year (which she shared with Anna Quindlen and Walter Cronkite), and NYSCA and NEA Fellowships. She has appeared in many independent films and appeared in the film Philadelphia.

Kathleen Hanna is a musician, feminist activist, and zine writer. In the 90s she was the lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill, before fronting the dance-punk band Le Tigre. In 1998, Hanna released a solo album under the name Julie Ruin. She has collaborated with a wide variety of musicians, appearing on records with numerous artists, including Joan Jett, Mike Watt, Atari Teenage Riot, Comet Gain, Green Day, Tim Green, Metal Church, Helter Skillet, Internal/External and Yoko Ono.

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The Reality Shows 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago