Karen Finley continues to tackle important issues and turns her attention to politics today.
A public health crisis is one of these human occurrences that brings several contravening responses and feelings to the surface: fear, recrimination, massive research efforts, emotional appeals for safety and help, charitable sacrifice, anger, religious discrimination, political advocacy, and on.
Today’s New York art world is painfully nostalgic for the 1980s — a time when rent in the East Village could be paid on tips, syringes littered the streets, and social forces challenged artists to create astounding works. Creativity crackled in the air, as did the impending trauma and transformation of the near future. Social spaces existed before social media supplanted them. It was a time — “post-disco, pre-house,” according to performance artist Jack Waters — when you could both dance and talk in clubs, and those clubs weren’t just filled with $12 cocktails and bridge-and-tunnel riffraff, but exciting creators building a community.
Of the four artists known by history as the NEA Four, Karen Finley is the one whose full name many people remember, even if they know little else about the situation that led to the artists’ lawsuit against the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The NEA Four, now in residence at the New Museum, were denied National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants in 1990, after Congress passed a “decency clause.” How has arts funding changed in the past 20 years? Its current state would certainly “disabuse just about anyone of the idea that pursuing an artistic career in 21st-century America is a romantic enterprise.”
MIAMI — The first artworks I enjoyed when I walked into the Miami Project, one of two newcomers to Art Basel Miami Beach fair week this year, were paintings by Monique Prieto at ACME. Then I discovered photographs by Lee Materazzi. After that, there was Daniela Comani’s wonderful installation “Beau De Jour,” and it was around that time that it hit me: so much of the work I was loving at the fair was by women.
January usually sees the dismantling of lavish holiday windows on Fifth Avenue, a dissipation of arresting tableaux that engaged pedestrians. But the eminent Paris department store Le Printemps refused to wait until next year to showcase another extravagant display, hosting fashion icon’s Daphne Guinness’s second foray into performance art housed in their windows.
Has she no decency? At long last, has she no decency? The transgressive, titillating performance artist Karen Finley was denied a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990 because the language and content in her work was deemed “indecent.” Along with three other artists she became part of the infamous Supreme Court case The National Endowment for the Arts v. Karen Finley, which culminated in the discontinuation of individual artist grants. In her interview with Hyperallergic, Finley reflects on the past of New York City, the state of women in the arts, Lady Gaga and more.
For the second in his series of YouTube Essays, YouTube Archive + Anarchy, blogger and curator Brent Burket selects a mix of art and music, collecting YouTube music videos, amateur documentation of video art pieces and performance art. Check out a Katy Perry introduction and feminist firecracker Karen Finley invading a Sinead O’Connor song, to disastrous and hilarious effect. Click through for the complete VJ set.
Starting Wednesday, Brooklyn blogger and curator Brent Burket will be curating a three-day YouTube retrospective that mines the insanity of the online video juggernaut to find gems and germs that are sometimes painful to watch but always entertaining. His mission was to present an array of short videos that would give us a taste of the art world there and wait till you see what he has discovered.
Paul Virilio has written extensively about how advances in technology have changed our relationship to time and space. YouTube has been supremely guilty of that crime, AND it’s allowed us to hit repeat it when necessary. Um, awesome …