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Performance art, censorship and psychoanalysis : theorizing the outrageous acts of Karen Finley

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Performance art, censorship and psychoanalysis : theorizing the outrageous acts of Karen Finley

Beavis, Lynn (2003) Performance art, censorship and psychoanalysis : theorizing the outrageous acts of Karen Finley. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The psychoanalytic theory of Julia Kristeva, particularly her ideas concerning abjection and the subject in crisis, is used as a lens through which the work of American performance artist Karen Finley is analyzed. Finley's work is placed in the context of the governmental and social debates that took place concerning the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) in the United States in the late 1980s. Contemporary art was characterized in terms of obscenity and fraud by the "New Right", who portrayed themselves as the voice of the American public. On the other hand, the art world maintained the artist's right to challenge cultural standards and the constitutional right to freedom of expression. Finley became the cause célebre of the NEA crisis. This study reveals the psychoanalytical impulses behind both Finley's art work and the fulminations of the "Neo-Conservatives".

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Beavis, Lynn
Pagination:vi, 138 leaves : ill., ports. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Art History
Date:2003
Thesis Supervisor(s):Asselin, Olivier
ID Code:2112
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:25
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:24
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