Shock Treatment

Overview

Shock Treatment includes Karen Finley’s most provocative and acclaimed performance monologues, essays, and poems, with “The Constant State of Desire,” “We Keep Our Victims Ready,” “It's Only Art,” and “The Black Sheep.” Excoriating misogyny, homophobia, abusive families, greed, and state coercion of bodies and minds, Finley holds out hope for a world informed not by hate and fear, but by truth and unconditional love.

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Overview

Shock Treatment includes Karen Finley’s most provocative and acclaimed performance monologues, essays, and poems, with “The Constant State of Desire,” “We Keep Our Victims Ready,” “It's Only Art,” and “The Black Sheep.” Excoriating misogyny, homophobia, abusive families, greed, and state coercion of bodies and minds, Finley holds out hope for a world informed not by hate and fear, but by truth and unconditional love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Finley's performance art--for which she has recently become notorious--is intentionally discomfitting. The texts in Shock Treatment , some of which figure in her performances but the majority of which are recent writings, are coextensive with the reach of her live act, sharing the goal, indeed, of shocking. However, readers may find the effects here too shrill to be persuasive: ``I know you want to experience the inspiration of the artist. So I take your Yuppie body and drag it down Avenue B and let your tongue roll along the street licking up the shit and piss, the sweat and blood of me, and you know what? You like it. You like it.''p. 8 In the most scathing of terms, consumerism, sexism, homophobia, racism and societal violence are pilloried and personified. Finley's calculated histrionics admit no forgiveness. In the name of personal freedom, judgments are harshly rendered and executed with zeal. There is little warmth here, but cold compassion for the undefended; the crude drawings by the author serve to sharpen the book's astringency. As its title suggests, this book is not meant to offer readers a pleasant experience. Nonetheless, it is a document that boldly crosses the border between the political and the profane at a time when that region is in hot dispute. It should not go unread by those involved. Nov .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872862524
  • Publisher: City Lights Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2001
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (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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