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Outrage Treatment: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition


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Outrage Treatment: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition by Karen Finley
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"If you haven't read this book yet--buy it, take it home, and read it now! This is the work that made me get off my ass and actually do something, and it will inspire you, too."--Kathleen Hanna, singer, Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and The Julie Ruin

"I believe Karen Finley's un-careful rage was threatening because it is filled with grief, humor, and a profound passion for this life. Rereading it, I feel refreshed, as if I've been self-policing for years by tolerating boring, stupid things and now I'm free again. Thank you, Karen."--Miranda July, author of The First Bad Man

"Shock Treatment is as timely and crucial as ever, inspiring feminist rage and wildness just as when it first blew my mind twenty-five years ago."--Michelle Tea, author of How to Grow Up

"Karen Finley is an iconoclast who, ironically, became an icon when her work in Shock Treatment was targeted by right wing politicians. This important book is as necessary and vital today as it was twenty-years ago."--Sapphire, author of Push, among other works

"Reading Shock Treatment today reminds me that Karen Finley has always been a writer of conscience. I remember seeing and hearing her read "The Black Sheep" off a piece of legal paper in the middle of a play at The Kitchen. No frills. She simply re-invented the poem."--Eileen Myles, author of Snowflake/different streets

"How exciting for you, me, Karen, and the world--to have an occasion to revisit this period of powerful and earth-shaking work. Culture wars? Those bastards had no idea what they were up against."--Justin Vivian Bond, author of Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels

"Finley’s Shock Treatment is more than just 'art.' It remains a searing and necessary indictment of America, a call to arms, a great protest against the injustices waged on queers and women during a time in recent American history where government intervention and recognition was so desperately needed. Twenty-five years on, Finley’s work continues to shock and provoke readers and audiences, demonstrating the powerful cultural and political impact her work has had on modern American art and performance art."--Nathan Smith, Los Angeles Review of Books

No other artist captures the drama and fragility of the AIDS era as Karen Finley does in her 1990 classic book Shock Treatment. "The Black Sheep," "We Keep Our Victims Ready," "I Was Never Expected to Be Talented,"--these are some of the seminal works which excoriated homophobia and misogyny at a time when artists and writers were under attack for challenging the status quo. This twenty-fifth anniversary expanded edition features a new introduction in which Finley reflects on publishing her first book as she became internationally known for being denied an NEA grant because of perceived obscenity in her work. She traces her journey from art school to burlesque gigs to the San Francisco North Beach literary scene. A new poem reminds us of Finley's disarming ability to respond to the era's most challenging issues with grace and humor.

KAREN FINLEY's raw and transgressive performances have long provoked controversy and debate. She has appeared and exhibited her visual art, performances, and plays internationally. The author of many books including A Different Kind of Intimacy, George & Martha, and The Reality Shows, she is a professor at the Tisch School of Art and Public Policy at NYU.

The Fact Shows


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The Fact Shows by Brand: The Feminist Press at CUNY
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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 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.

Broad museum events include 'Selma' director Ava DuVernay, Karen Finley as ... - Los Angeles Times

SIGN UP for the free Essential Arts & Culture newsletter >>. Finley, whose 1980s rise as a controversial performance artist had the unintended consequence of starting a political avalanche that led to the decimation of federal arts grants, will... ” The series on feminist performing artists will be overseen by guest curator Jennifer Doyle, a professor at UC Riverside. Finley will perform Nov. 20-21 in the Oculus Hall at the Broad museum. “Callings Out of Context,” a concert program described as an “aural complement” to the Broad’s pop art holdings, will be curated by composer Ted Hearne. 5 at REDCAT, features the electronic music group Helado Negro, led by producer-singer Roberto Carlos Lange, and Rabbit Rabbit, a husband-and-wife duo of singer-violinist Carla Kihlstedt and percussionist-keyboardist-singer Matthias Bossi. Tickets are $25. “Array @The Broad” will consist of films picked by an arts collective founded by “Selma” director DuVernay that promote movies by women and people of color. 14-15 at locations around the Broad, offering programs in which parents and children can learn about art while making their own souvenirs. The fifth series is a holdover: the speakers series “The Un-Private Collection” that the Broad began in 2013 to create a programming foothold in advance of the museum’s opening. The next installment is “Designing the Broad,” a panel discussion about the museum’s architecture Nov 2. at Walt Disney Concert Hall. That will feature architect Elizabeth Diller, museum founder Eli Broad and museum director Joanne Heyler with architecture critic Paul Goldberger as moderator. Finley will perform “The Jackie Look,” a performance piece she debuted in 2010 in which she inhabits the role of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis discoursing on violence, grief and fame. The New York Times’ review was headlined “Karen Finley Wears Pearls, Not Chocolate,” an allusion to the days when Finley performed wearing nothing but smeared chocolate and became a flashpoint for the “culture wars” that culminated in Congress’... Tickets are $30 and available on the Broad’s website. The Broad also announced it’s developing a museum-visit program for children in grades 3-12, in conjunction with the education organizations 826LA and Inner-City Arts. Source:

Latest News

  • Broad museum events include 'Selma' director Ava DuVernay, Karen Finley as ...

    10/08/15 ,via Los Angeles Times

    Finley will perform “The Jackie Look,” a performance piece she debuted in 2010 in which she inhabits the role of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis discoursing on violence, grief and fame. The New York Times' review was headlined “Karen Finley Wears Pearls, 

  • KAREN FINLEY @ Coagula Curatorial, Los Angeles. New Works by the World ...

    10/30/15 ,via ArtfixDaily

    LOS ANGELES - Coagula Curatorial is pleased to announce Love Field, a solo show of new work by world-renowned artist Karen Finley. The artist has been studying the traumatic images surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.


RT @LAReviewofBooks: “Karen Finley’s SHOCK TREATMENT is all about the shock of living.” 11/04/15, @DJobling
RT @TotalTheatreMag: Karen Finley @SPILL_Festival reviewed: 11/04/15, @SPILL_Festival
The legendary Karen Finley - show and installation reviewed at Barbican for #Spill2015: 11/04/15, @TotalTheatreMag



  • George & Martha

    Verso. 2015. ISBN: 1844670643,9781844670642. 105 pages.

    A satirical work of fiction by the author of Shock Treatment and A Different Kind of Intimacy follows the long-standing affair of George, who has just stolen an election, and Martha, the head of a fascist domestic empire, turning to kinky sex and cocaine to numb themselves against the pain of war and a corporate scandal. Original.

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  • NYS Exposed: The future of red light cameras in Rochester

    11/01/15 ,via WHEC TV-10

    He's concerned about the city's relationship with Redflex. Former Redflex CEO Karen Finley has pled guilty to bribing public officials in Chicago and Columbus, Ohio. The Warren administration says the cameras are making streets safer by reducing crashes ...

  • Written in Sand review – reflection on Aids shot through with rage and grief

    10/30/15 ,via The Guardian

    The Pit, Barbican, London Karen Finley is like a medium, raising the 1980s ghosts of Aids and homophobia in a piece that seethes with anger Famed US performance artist Karen Finley hasn’t forgotten, and in these letters, poems and prose she feels each ...

  • Why we still need to support the NEA

    10/29/15 ,via Chicago Tribune

    Garrison Keillor's first writing grant, the one he credits with getting him somewhere. Solo writer-performer Karen Finley. She once did things with yams on stage that offended an entire generation of America's outraged, though the generation never actually ...


Karen Finley - Official Site

"Ladies and gentlemen, there's a surprise substitute on the dessert cart this evening. Chocolate is no longer on the menu. Instead, it's gold, gleaming honey that is ...

Karen Finley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Karen Finley; Born: 1956 (age 58–59) Chicago, Illinois: Nationality: American: Alma mater: San Francisco Art Institute: Occupation: Performance artist, musician, poet

Karen Finley - IMDb

Karen Finley, Actress: Philadelphia. Karen Finley was born in 1956 in Evanston, Illinois, USA. She is an actress and writer, known for Philadelphia (1993), You Killed ...

Karen Finley Profiles | Facebook

View the profiles of people named Karen Finley on Facebook. Join Facebook to connect with Karen Finley and others you may know. Facebook gives people the...

Karen Finley debuts SEXT ME IF YOU CAN at Miami Project Fair, This ...

Karen Finley debuts SEXT ME IF YOU CAN at Miami Project Fair, This ...


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Karen Finley's 'Nation Building' comes to Emerson College - The Boston ...

Karen Finley's 'Nation Building' comes to Emerson College - The Boston ...

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