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A Different Kind of Intimacy: The Collected Writings

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  21 reviews
A Different Kind of Intimacy will bring together for the first time a collection of performance artist Karen Finley's texts, performances, short stories, essays, op-eds, art and photographs, creating a unique memoir of a woman whose life and career have embodied the urgent cultural conflicts of our time. The writings include text from the infamous performances that brought ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 10th 2000 by Running Press (first published October 2000)
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Aug 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
1.5 stars.

The memoir parts were interesting. I don't really understand performance art. I don't find this cathartic. I couldn't read all of the performances because they were so masochistic. But I appreciate the statements being made about women's sexuality, abuse, and rape.

I found the sections on the AIDS slightly easier to read and can appreciate how the exhibits must have been healing.
Vivienne Strauss
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wow, a truly provocative book. I passed through many emotional states while reading this over the past 24 hours- sorrow, anger, disgust, fortunately occasional laughter and found it overall inspiring.
David Blanchard
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you've never heard of Finely, go to your room... ...more
Adam Cummings
May 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is certainly not the type of book you can just pick up haphazardly and just start enjoying. You really need to know who Karen Finley is, otherwise you might miss the subtleties. It's like meeting a sarcastic or hyperbole-prone person for the first time, if you're not familliar with their sensibility you might think they're just a dick. Given that, I'm a big fan of Karen Finley, and was interested to read about the NEA grant situation from her point of view. It includes excerpts from some of ...more
Oct 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Karen Finley rocks my little world. There I said it. I have a precious signed copy of this book from a performance I saw her give at the Vortex Theatre here in town. She is brave, crass, intelligent and she's taken on both the NEA and Jesse Helms what more do you need to say. Oh, her writing is pretty good too. The things she's lived and explored in her life are perfectly captured in the title, A Different Kind of Intimacy. I'll have to come back and rewrite this when I can make more sense :). T ...more
Dec 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Upon reading this a second time the writing wasn't as strong as I remembered it to be. But it's less about some specific narrative voice and more about Finley plainly and honestly presenting the story of her life thus far as a performance artist and locus point of controversy. Excerpts of her performance pieces are included and this is where her writing really shines. Another thing that reminds me of the New York City of times gone by. ...more
Oct 07, 2012 rated it liked it
i'm writing this review long after reading the book, but i just want to say that i would have given it another star if almost half of the book didn't feel like excuses for not being "radical" or "edgy" anymore. as a young'un during the culture wars of the 80s, i was excited to hear her side of all of those stories, though. ...more
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it
While Karen's life is interesting and some of her work is hilarious, I just don't like her writing at all, mainly it seems forgettable. I think when combined with a performance there would be a different level of understanding, but on the page her words aren't too powerful. ...more
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Estoy disfrutando tantísimo todo lo que Karen Finley tiene que decir sobre sus inicios el performance y el oficio que fue delineando con el paso de los años. Nunca imaginé que una mujer cuyas obras son de una crudeza bárbara fuera tan tan dulce y vibrante al mismo tiempo.
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Some of this I really liked--mainly the middle part of the book. The beginning didn't have as much impact on me and the final portion confused me. On the whole, the book was thought provoking and I admire Karen Finley for her creativity and her willingness to speak her truth. ...more
Jul 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Read this collection after my sister went to see one of her shows in New York. The description with compelling. So was the book.
Marissa Perel
Sep 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
equally strong in message and craft
Dec 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: artists, writers, non-fiction fans
This is a fantastic, inspiring, hilarious and involving retrospective of Karen Finley's work, in her own voice. ...more
Aug 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: someone interested in performance art
bravery and embracing your past and makeing the best art you can from it ... is something i want to try to do
Apr 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
pretty vulgar. even for me.
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Finley is a brilliant and fearless artist with wonderful things to say. I highly recommend this book. I've been fortunate enough to see her perform live twice and I consider her one of my heroes. ...more
Aug 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Rebecca Bourgeois
Jul 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Karen lives life with a rare boldness and compassion and her art reflects that sensibility. Plus, she's hot. ...more
Oct 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
karen finley is an awesome performance artist. this book is pretty awesome too.
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Oct 29, 2018
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Dec 31, 2020
Dec 08, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
B She's so wacky!
Christopher Krakora
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Nov 05, 2012
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Aug 15, 2011
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Feb 17, 2010
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KAREN FINLEYs raw and transgressive performances have long provoked controversy and debate. She has appeared and exhibited her visual art, performances, and plays internationally. The author of many books including A Different Kind of Intimacy , George & Martha , and Shock Treatment , she is a professor at the Tisch School of Art and Public Policy at NYU.


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