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January 31, 2014

Artstor to release performance videos from Franklin Furnace

Guy de Cointet | Two Drawings | 5/9/1978 | This image was provided by the Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.

Guy de Cointet | Two Drawings | 5/9/1978 | This image was provided by the Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.

We are delighted to announce that Artstor is collaborating with the Franklin Furnace Archive to introduce videos in the Digital Library in the coming months. Franklin Furnace has been championing performance and other ephemeral arts for more than three decades. Martha Wilson, Franklin Furnace’s founding director, elaborates on the significance of this collaboration:

While there is undeniable value to gathering objects from performances such as costumes, props, and ephemera, video offers an irreplaceable key to understanding temporal works. Moving images are the best window we have into the past—no amount of caption text or notes from scripts can convey the look and feel of this pivotal time! Franklin Furnace is pleased to be working in collaboration with Artstor to bring video documentation of our performance art events to a broad scholarly audience.

We hope these fifty videos featuring Franklin Furnace alumni such as Alice Aycock, Ericka Beckman, Lee Breuer, John Cage, Guy De Cointet, Constance De Jong, Richard Foreman, the Kipper Kids, Jill Kroesen, Matt Mullican, Michael Smith, and William Wegman will provide insight into the intentions of avant-garde artists from 1976 forward, and will help to embed the value of ephemeral art practice in art and cultural history.

– Martha Wilson, January 2014

You may also be interested in 35 Years of Ephemeral Art: Martha Wilson on Franklin Furnace

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February 25, 2013

Karen Finley: “Straight from the gut”

Karen Finley | A Woman’s Life Isn’t Worth Much | 5/18/1990 | Originally at Franklin Furnace, New York, NY

Karen Finley | A Woman’s Life Isn’t Worth Much | 5/18/1990 | Originally at Franklin Furnace, New York, NY

March is Women’s History Month, the perfect time to highlight the work of Karen Finley, a world-renowned performance artist, author, and playwright whose work has addressed issues such as sexuality, abuse, and American politics from an uncompromising feminist perspective.

Finley came to national attention when her 1990 grant application to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was vetoed, along those of three other artists, because the content of her work was considered inappropriate. The artists sued and ultimately lost a Supreme Court appeal, but Finley was not deterred. As her struggles with the NEA were already in full swing in 1990, Franklin Furnace—in a bold move, as the organization itself was partly funded by the NEA—presented her installation, A Woman’s Life Isn’t Worth Much.

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