Artist Karen Finley will give a dramatic reading of four selected excerpts from “We Keep Our Victims Ready”, first performed at DiverseWorks over two evenings in October 1989. About the oppressed in contemporary America, “We Keep Our Victims Ready” is a confrontational and powerful work of art that Finley has reframed in the context of current social and political issues: war, reproductive rights, freedom of expression, and identity.
Finley’s reading will be followed by a discussion and Q & A moderated by DiverseWorks Assistant Curator Rachel Cook and UH Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Jessica Santone. This event is free.
Karen Finley is a New York-based artist whose raw and transgressive performances have long provoked controversy and debate. Finley was one of four artists whose NEA grant applications were vetoed due to content considered “indecent.” Finley and the other three artists sued for reinstatement and won the case in 1993 in the ninth circuit court in Los Angeles. In May 2013, Finley’s performance and installation, Sext Me if You Can, was presented as part of NEA 4 in Residence at the New Museum in New York. For this interactive performance installation, Finley created a limited edition of paintings inspired by “sexts” that she received from participating patrons. Other 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), 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 partnership with the University of Houston’s School of Art and Visiting Assistant Professor Jessica Santone.