Friday 05/03/13 1PM
New Museum TheaterVisit Us

The Money Shot: Roundtable with Karen Finley

Cover Image:

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Free with Museum admission

Capacity is limited. To guarantee your attendance, please RSVP here.

Presented as part of NEA 4 in Residence.

Karen Finley investigates artists’ strategies for thinking outside the dollar, working within the institution, and funding one’s practice as an outsider. Participants are encouraged to bring one new idea, funding hurdle, or art historical example that addresses ways in which artists work around (or without) money to generate work that supports itself.

Finley explains: “As a defunded artist, I bottomed out without traditional access or support. This experience gave me the opportunity to soul-search the deeper meaning and value of ‘being supported.’ In this session, I will share personal reflections of creating art despite being declared indecent and my strategies for maintaining an artistic vision and output despite being perceived as a red flag by potential funders.”

Finley is a New York–based artist whose performances have long provoked controversy and debate. Her performances have been presented at the Lincoln Center (NY), the Guthrie (Minneapolis), American Repertory Theater (Harvard), the ICA (London), the Steppenwolf (Chicago), and the Bobino (Paris). Her artworks are in numerous collections and museums including the Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Finley attended the San Francisco Art Institute receiving an MFA and an honorary PhD. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Obies, two Bessies, Ms. magazine Woman Of The Year Award, NARAL Person of the Year Award, and NYSCA and NEA Fellowships. She has appeared in many independent films, including Jonathan Demme’s 1993 Oscar-winning film Philadelphia. She has authored and/or edited eight books including Shock Treatment (City Lights, 1990), Enough is Enough (Poseidon, Simon and Schuster, 1993), Living It Up (Doubleday, 1996), Pooh Unplugged (Smart Art Books, 1999), A Different Kind Of Intimacy: The Collected Writings of Karen Finley (Thunders Mouth Press, 2000), and Reality Shows (2011). Current projects include “Unicorn in Red” (an ongoing series of performances in which Finley receives automatic messages from those departed and turns those messages into artworks), Broken Negative (a re-examination of her infamously defunded work We Keep Our Victims Ready), and Open Heart (a public memorial for children killed during the Holocaust created in collaboration with survivors, children, and locals). Finley is a professor at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in the department of Art and Public Policy.

Presented in conjunction with “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star” and IDEAS CITY.


This program is made possible, in part, through the support of the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Education and public programs are made possible by a generous grant from Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of David B. Heller & Hermine Riegerl Heller.

Support for the exhibition is provided by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte, and the Robert Mapplethorpe Photography Fund.

The accompanying exhibition publication is made possible by the J. McSweeney and G. Mills Publications Fund at the New Museum.

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