Karen Finley Takes On Eliot Spitzer: ‘The Impulse to Suck’


In her long career as a performance artist, Karen Finley has smeared chocolate on her naked body to resemble feces, performed a piece called “Yam’s Up my Granny’s Ass”, played a sexualized Eva Braun opposite a shit-eating (literally) Hitler, and been doused in honey. She’s also been badmouthed by Jesse Helms and battled the Supreme Court over decency issues.

Today, Finley will shock her audiences once more with “The Impulse to Suck,” a performance that elevates Eliot Spitzer’s love for hookers into art. More specifically, it focuses on the public confession of his hooker-love. Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, where she will perform tonight and tomorrow, describes the piece:

“Finley explores what she calls “the performance of the apology,” the erotic transference of the media’s fixation on Spitzer’s frown, and the emotional starring role played by Silda. Finley will perform her latest spoken word text examining the confession, the apology, the frown, the imagining of the sexual encounter, the journey of the escort, the compulsion, the immigrant father’s plan for his son to succeed, and the former first couple’s imagined therapy sessions.“

No word on whether any sticky substances will be part of the performance.