"I love to hear humans just gathering and talking and being and making lots of noise. I like to do that too...just being, and making yourself known and present."
Author and performing artist Karen Finley spoke with Helga Davis about the evolution of her early work and what she wants to give her audience now.
Karen Finley is an artist, performer, and author. She is an interdisciplinary artist working in performance, text, sound, music, poetics, film and video, installation, public and social practice art. Born in Chicago she received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her raw and transgressive performances have brought debate, censorship and controversy.
Finley was the named plaintiff for the Supreme Court case Finley v. NEA that challenged the decency provision in government grants to artists through the National Endowment for the Arts. Her performances and visual art have been presented internationally such as the Barbican in London, Lincoln Center, New York City, MOMA, the Bobino in Paris, amongst others. Finley is interested in freedom of expression concerns, social justice, gender and sexuality, visual culture, art education, metaphysics and lectures, and gives workshops widely.
She is the author of nine books, including her latest, Grabbing Pussy ( OR Books 2018) and the 25th anniversary edition of Shock Treatment by City Lights. Reality Shows Feminist Press 2010) A recipient of many awards and grants, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, she is an arts professor in Art and Public Policy at New York University.
Follow her on Instagram @the_yam_mam
Karen Finley is a commissioned artist featured in the Armory’s 100 Years |100 Women Project.
The Coda includes a reading of "Pussy Speak Out" from Grabbing Pussy by Karen Finley.