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In Performance: New Museum Presents “NEA 4 in Residence” with Programming and Performances by Karen Finley, John Fleck, Holly Hughes, and Tim Miller (NYC)

New Museum Presents “NEA 4 in Residence” with Programming and Performances by Karen Finley, John Fleck, Holly Hughes, and Tim Miller

May–June 2013

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New York, NY…The New Museum is pleased to present two major projects from May–June 2013, featuring the famously defunded artists known as the NEA 4: Karen Finley, John Fleck, Holly Hughes, and Tim Miller. The first of these projects, “NEA 4 in Residence,” engages these artists in a series of four individualized residencies, featuring performances, workshops, roundtables, and panels. This project is presented in conjunction with the New Museum’s current exhibition “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.”

The second project, “Performing Beyond Funding Limits: Research in Practice,” includes performances and a weeklong research residency whereby the NEA 4 will guide four under-supported New York–based artists to develop radical “business plans” for better sustaining their own practices and to imagine new strategies beyond the limits of available funding. This project was conceived as a response to the central theme of IDEAS CITY 2013: Untapped Capital. Utilizing collaborative research and team mentorship strategies, “Performing Beyond Funding Limits” enacts a model for a group of under-supported solo performers to leverage their collective Untapped Capital.

“NEA 4 in Residence + Performing Beyond Funding Limits” is curated by Travis Chamberlain, Associate Curator of Performance and Manager of Public Programs at the New Museum. Read a related blog post by Chamberlain on the NEA 4:

“NEA 4 in Residence”

During the culture wars of the early ’90s, the work of four solo performers, funded in part by the US government, came under attack for the frank treatment of themes of gender, sexuality, subjugation, and personal trauma. In 1990, works by Karen Finley, John Fleck, Holly Hughes, and Tim Miller (aka the NEA 4) were defunded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) after Congress amended the statute governing federal funding for the arts to include considerations of “general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs of the American public.” Subsequently, the NEA ceased funding for individual artists altogether. These four residencies reconsider the impact of these events while engaging with each artist on the terms of their current practices.

Karen Finley in Residence: $ite-$pecific at the New Museum Karen Finley explores strategies for overcoming funding hurdles and alchemizing the divergences between performance art and visual art economies.

The Money Shot: Roundtable with Karen Finley

Friday May 3 | 1 PM | Free New Museum Theater Finley investigates artists’ strategies for thinking outside the dollar, working within the institution, and funding one’s practice as an outsider.

“Sext Me if You Can” by Karen Finley: Performance and Installation

Thursday–Sunday May 23–26 | Times Vary | Free New Museum Lobby An interactive site-specific performance installation staged in the New Museum Lobby. The erotic exchange with the performing artist—bound by rules of commerce—transforms into a lasting and collectible work of visual art.

Holly Hughes in Residence: Discipline and Legacy in Queer Performance Holly Hughes quarries queer strategies for teaching queer performance and performing queer histories.

Queer(ing) Performance Pedagogy: Roundtable with Holly Hughes

Sunday May 5 | 3 PM | Free New Museum Theater What might a radical queer approach to teaching radical queer performance look like today?

Expanded Forms of Re-enactment in Queer Performance Friday May 10 | 7 PM | Members Free, $8 General Public New Museum Theater Hughes is joined by Cynthia Carr (author of Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz) to consider the past, present, and possible future of expanded forms of re-enactment in queer performance.

John Fleck in Residence: A Snowball’s Chance in Hell Revisited John Fleck revisits A Snowball’s Chance in Hell (1992) to consider a potential New York City premiere twenty years later. Blessed Are All the Little Snowballs in Hell: Screening and Discussion

Sunday May 12 | 3 PM | Members Free, $8 General Public New Museum Theater John Fleck’s A Snowball’s Chance in Hell (1992) was a response to the experience of being thrust into the spotlight of controversy as a result of the defunding of his previous work Blessed Are All the Little Fishes (1989) by the NEA. Fascinatingly, neither of these works has ever been performed in New York City.

A Snowball’s Chance in Hell Revisited: Performance Workshop

Friday May 17 | 7 PM | $10 Members, $12 General Public New Museum Theater After a week of intensive on-site investigation and rehearsal, Fleck presents a workshop performance of Snowball, reimagined for 2013.

Tim Miller in Residence: Exhibit Q: Queer Bodies Performance Workshop Tim Miller leads a performance workshop during Gay Pride Week, culminating in a world premiere ensemble-devised performance on Friday June 28 at 7 p.m.

Exhibit Q: Queer Bodies Performance Workshop

Monday–Friday June 24–28 | $150 Members, $200 General Public New Museum Theater In Miller’s own words: “This performance workshop brings together a group of queer-identified and queer-allied participants to create an original performance [Exhibit Q: Queer Bodies] that explores the charged border between our ‘queered’ bodies and society…our narratives and our politics…our private selves and public view.” For more information, please visit

Exhibit Q: Queer Bodies Public Performance

Friday June 28 | 7 PM | $10 Members, $15 General Public New Museum Theater

Performing Beyond Funding Limits: Research in Practice

The NEA 4, in collaboration with four curators who supported their work during the culture wars of the ’90s, were asked to select four under-supported New York–based artists whose practices present unique challenges within the limits of traditional funding models for performance. The selected artists will engage in a weeklong research residency to develop radical “business plans” for better sustaining their own practices and to imagine new strategies beyond the limits of available funding, which they will share in a final presentation on May 4 at 4 p.m.

NEA 4 to Mentor Four New York–based Artists to Develop Radical Business Plans, Exploring Untapped Capital, as part of the Museum’s IDEAS CITY Festival on May 4

The four participating artists are:

Erin Markey – selected by Holly Hughes and Ellie Covan (Executive Director, Dixon Place) Salley May – selected by John Fleck and Nicky Paraiso (Programming Director, The Club at La Mama) Brigham Mosley – selected by Tim Miller and Mark Russell (Artistic Director, Under the Radar Festival) Tobaron Waxman – selected by Karen Finley and Jed Wheeler (Artistic Director, Peak Performances)

Performance Beyond the Limits: Short Works

Friday May 3 | 7 PM | $10 Members, $12 General Public New Museum Theater A showcase of short performance works by Markey, May, Mosley, and Waxman.

Performing Beyond Funding Limits: Final Presentations

Saturday May 4 | 4 PM | Free New Museum Theater


Karen Finley is a New York–based artist whose performances have long provoked controversy and debate. Her performances have been presented at the Lincoln Center (NY), the Guthrie (Minneapolis), American Repertory Theater (Harvard), the ICA (London), the Steppenwolf (Chicago), and the Bobino (Paris). Her artworks are in numerous collections and museums including the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Finley attended the San Francisco Art Institute receiving an MFA and an honorary PhD. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Obies, two Bessies, Ms. magazine Woman Of The Year Award, NARAL Person of the Year Award, and NYSCA and NEA Fellowships. She has appeared in many independent films, including Jonathan Demme’s 1993 Oscar-winning film Philadelphia. She has authored and/or edited eight books including Shock Treatment (City Lights, 1990), Enough is Enough (Poseidon, Simon and Schuster, 1993), Living It Up (Doubleday, 1996), Pooh Unplugged (Smart Art Books, 1999), A Different Kind Of Intimacy: The Collected Writings of Karen Finley (Thunders Mouth Press, 2000), and Reality Shows (2011). Current projects include “Unicorn in Red” (an ongoing series of performances in which Finley receives automatic messages from those departed and turns those messages into artworks), Broken Negative (a re-examination of her infamously defunded work We Keep Our Victims Ready), and Open Heart (a public memorial for children killed during the Holocaust created in collaboration with survivors, children, and locals). Finley is a professor at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in the department of Art and Public Policy.

John Fleck is a performer, writer, and stage, television, and film actor based in Los Angeles. His past body of self-scripted solo work includes: Mad Women, Johnny’s Got a Gun, Nothin’ Beats Pussy, Mud in your Eye, Dirt, me, A Snowball’s Chance in Hell, Blessed are all the Little Fishes, PsychoOpera, and I Got the He-be-she-be’s. A sampling of past performance venues includes: the ICA (London), ICA (Boston), the Public Theater, the Guggenheim Museum, Performance Space 122, La MaMa Theater, Dixon Place, and Joe’s Pub (NYC), the Getty Museum, Cal Plaza, and MOCA (Los Angeles). Recent theater credits

include: Tobacco Road (LaJolla Playhouse), She Stoops to Comedy (Evidence Room, LA), A Perfect Wedding (Kirk Douglas Theater, LA), Applause (Reprise, UCLA), Noises Off (Cape Playhouse, Dennis, MA), On the Jump (South Coast Rep), Small Craft Warnings, Cringe, The Berlin Circle (Evidence Room, LA), The Mystery of Irma Vep (Tiffany Theater, LA), Tony Kushner’s adaptation of The Illusion (LATC), and The Granny (The Old Globe, San Diego). A sampling of TV/film work includes: True Blood, Criminal Minds, Bones, Weeds, The Closer, Carnivale, StarTrek Enterprise, NYPD Blue, Murder One, Seinfeld, and PBS’s Tales of the City. Feature films include: On-Line, Primary Suspect, Falling Down, and Waterworld, amongst others, which enable him financial fluidity to create his, not necessarily for-profit, performance art.

Holly Hughes is an internationally acclaimed performance artist whose work maps the troubled fault lines of identity. Her combination of poetic imagery and political satire has earned her wide attention and placed her work at the center of America’s culture wars. Hughes was among the first students to attend the New York Feminist Art Institute, an experiment in progressive pedagogy launched by members of the Heresies Collective. In the early ’80s, Hughes became part of the Women’s One World Café, also known as the WOW Café, an arts cooperative in the East Village established by an international group of women artists. Hughes has performed at venues across North America, Great Britain, and Australia including the Walker Art Center, the Wexner Center, the Guggenheim, the Yale Repertory, the Drill Hall in London, and numerous universities. She has published two books: Clit Notes: A Sapphic Sampler and O Solo Homo: The New Queer Performance (co-edited with Dr. David Roman), with two other anthologies in production, Animal Acts: Performing Species Today (co-edited with Una Chaudhuri) and Memories of the Revolution: The First Ten Years Of the WOW Cafe (co-edited with Carmelita Tropicana). Hughes is a professor at the University of Michigan, with appointments in Art and Design, Theatre and Drama, and Women’s Studies.

Tim Miller is an internationally acclaimed solo performer. Miller’s performance works have been presented all over the world at venues such as Yale Repertory Theatre, London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Walker Art Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival. He is the author of the books Shirts & Skin, Body Blows, and 1001 Beds—an anthology of his performances and essays, which won the 2007 Lambda Literary Award for best book in Drama/Theater. Miller has taught performance at UCLA, NYU, and the Claremont School of Theology. He is a cofounder of two of the most influential performance spaces in the United States: Performance Space 122 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, CA.


Erin Markey creates comedic and conceptual performances, often involving music, for stage and video. She has shown work at the New Museum, Joe’s Pub (the Public Theater), Performance Space 122, Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, Leslie Lohman Museum, Sister Spit, and the “Sex Workers’ Art Show.” She

is the recipient of NYFA’s 2012 Cutting Edge Artist Fund Grant. As an actress, Markey is a member of Half Straddle, has performed with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company, and starred in Tennessee Williams’s Green Eyes (Hudson Hotel, Ames Hotel), for which she received Boston’s Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress. On TV, she was a series regular on Jeffery & Cole Casserole (LOGO Network).

Salley May has been a downtown performance artist since 1987. She curates Performance Space 122’s Avant-Garde-Arama series and does theater workshops with mentally disabled populations through Hospital Audiences Inc. (HAI). She was a longstanding member of Jennifer Miller’s Circus Amok, and remains committed to the life, work, and spirit of downtown luminary Tom Murrin/Alien Comic. May is also a social worker in the

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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