Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
A National public art/performance project
Starting on President's Day, February 16, Creative Time, New York City's leading public arts presenter, is pleased to partner with 12 other arts organizations in launching Karen Finley's first national public performance piece, 1-900-ALL-KAREN.
Every day for six months, Finley will perform a daily message that audiences across the country can access. Her phone commentary will respond to a range of topics including observations on news headlines and social injustices as well as more personal reflections on motherhood and daily life. Listeners will have a more personal experience than ever before--a virtual one-on-one look at an artist.
Inspired by America's growing fascination with the telephone as a personal, yet anonymous outlet for information and companionship, Finley has chosen to use telecommunications as a vehicle to connect to a national audience. She specifically appropriates a 900 exchange (usually associated with the charlatanism of phone sex, horoscopes, and psychics) as a venue to explore free expression.
In 1990 Finley's National Endowment for the Arts grant was rescinded due to political charges of obscenity. She fought the NEA's decision and in 1992 the grant was reinstated. Since this case has just been petitioned for consideration with the Supreme Court, 1-900-ALL-KARENwill be a source of information on Karen's perspective concerning this important ruling.
1-900-ALL-KAREN was commissioned and organized by Creative Time in keeping with its continued commitment to presenting experimental public artworks that investigate the role of art and the artist in our social landscape.