Performance Artist Karen Finley to Host Public Discussion at MSU

Free event to discuss the "State of the Arts" in 2011 - Sept. 29 at the Alexander Kasser Theater

photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Karen Finley

On September 29th, renowned performance artist Karen Finley will address the Montclair State University community with a series of texts; poetic and conversational observations with weaved personal and political connections. 

Ms. Finley has been collecting diary-like entries for this event, where she creates a performance text inspired by the topic of the "State of the Arts". These entries are voiced alternating between humor, impulse and revelation with meditations of present day life revealed. Ms. Finley reminisces on art and society and the profoundness and absurdity of the practice of searching for meaningful content.

Some of her topic entries refer to New Jersey as location, famous Montclair alumni, post 9/11, commemoration, performing beyond the stage, passages and milestones, performing nude, public funding, self censorship and labor in the arts.

A towering figure in the world of performance art and a member of the (in)famous "NEA Four", Karen Finley is an artist who works in performance, installation, music and theater. She has written seven books and is a professor in art and public policy at Tisch School for the Arts, New York University. Her raw and transformative performances have long provoked controversy, debate, and critical acclaim.

Ms. Finley has received numerous awards and fellowships including a Guggenheim, 2 Obies, 2 Bessies, multiple NEA Fellowships and Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year. In the tradition of past Peak Performances speakers such as Bill T. Jones, Laurie Anderson, Robert Brustein and Christopher Janney, Karen Finley brings a captivating and unique view of the state of the arts to Montclair State University.

The discussion, part of Montclair State University's Peak Performances 2011/12 programming, will take place on Thursday, September 29th at 7:00 p.m. in the Alexander Kasser Theater on the campus of Montclair State. This event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for admission.

For ticket reservations and more information, please visit or call the box office at 973-655-5112.