Karen Finley

Cutler Majestic Theatre and Huret & Spector Gallery, Emerson College

In her role as Emerson College’s 2007 School of the Arts Visiting Artist, provocateur Karen Finley produced “Nation Building,” a thoughtful exhibition of drawings, sculpture, and mixed-media works. She also performed two monologues, The Dreams of Laura Bush and The Passion of Terry Schiavo. These may have disappointed an audience expecting variants on Finley’s infamous chocolate-covered nude performances but they revealed a calmer, more globally conscious feminist practitioner, seeking here to address issues around sexuality and power by targeting the dysfunctional Bush family, Dubya’s administration, and the war in Iraq.

Finley describes The Dreams of Laura Bush and The Passion of Terry Schiavo as “bookends of archetypes of powerlessness in our national narrative.” Dreams represented the artist’s attempt to imagine the repressed fantasies of the First Lady: After a highly ironic introductory

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