Written in Sand: Collected AIDS Writings
Friday, September 16, 2016, 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Join us for a solo spoken word performance by Karen Finley. Finley will perform selections from her artworks on the subject of HIV/AIDS, which allows her characteristic style of humorous improvisation and wit to both alleviate and add tension to the work surrounding loss, suffering, memory, poetics, and the human experience.

 

Location: 2nd floor North Wing

Free admission and cash bar

 

In 2013, curator Sur Rodney Sur invited the artist Karen Finley to participate in a group exhibition organized in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the non-profit organization Visual AIDS. For this project, Finley gathered selections from her art and writing on the subject of HIV/AIDS, including performance texts, poetry, letters, and other fragments. Together these selections became a whole new body of work, expressing the loss and magnitude of personal suffering and compassion within a larger world of homophobia, denial, and injustice. Many of the writings included in this performance were previously censored, and came to the attention of governmental authorities.

 

Finley brings humorous improvisation and wit to each of her performances, allowing her to alleviate and add tension to ideas surrounding loss, suffering, memory, poetics, and the human experience. Her work has been featured at Kelly Writer’s House at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; the University of Buffalo, New York; the Performing Art Center at Baruch College, New York; and the Barbican Center, London, England, as part of the Spill Festival.

 

For her 1992 work Written in Sand, Finley filled a large gallery space with sand alongside gold walls and candles, creating a sanctuary where the public could write the names of those they loved and lost to AIDS in the sand. For the Bronx Museum’s installation of Art AIDS America, the public is invited to write the names of those they lost in a sand-filled chest.

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Photo credit: Connor Johnson
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