Karen Finley

Amy Lipton Gallery

Karen Finley’s installation, Written in Sand, 1992, adopted a subtle and dark strategy which eschewed the emphasis on the sheer number of deaths characteristic of the most publicized tributes to the victims of AIDS. Emblematic of those works, Gran Fury’s 1987-88 LED installation stated “One AIDS death every ten minutes”; its latest incarnation reflects the continual increase in those statistics. The AIDS quilt, stitched together from the contributions of thousands who have lost friends and relatives, has grown so large that it can no longer be displayed in one place and is presented in fragments across the country. Designed by AIDS activists to make a graphic political point, the quilt, like Maya Lin’s Vietnam Memorial, mitigates the loneliness of grieving while creating a lasting, tangible memorial to each person.

Unlike the AIDS quilt or the Vietnam Memorial, Finley’s piece was structured

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