Karen Finley (MFA 1981) is an artist and author notorious for her dramatic role in Jesse Helms’ breakdown on the Senate floor, which ignited the Culture Wars. Even as Finley’s wedge in the puritanical hypocrisy of American life continues to echo today, she will revisit her seminal book Shock Treatment (1990) and share how she “found the joy” in art after her 8 year Supreme course case against the NEA. Finley’s recent work includes Broken Negative, where she reframes her infamous chocolate performance; and Sext Me if You Can, a collection of sext-inspired portraits.
Presented in partnership with City Lights Books.
Karen Finley, Don’t Hang the Angels, 1985, Performance documentation, St Mark’s Church, New York, Photographed by Dona Ann McAdams, Courtesy of the artist