Hart concentrates here on the performance artist Karen Finley, and her 1990 defunding by the National Endowment of the Arts along with three other performance artists who aligned themselves with queer politics. Hart argues that although Finley is heterosexual, her work became aligned with homosexuality, demonstrating the pervasiveness of homophobia. Hart argues that because Finley transgresses the boundaries of the body in performance by inserting food into bodily orifices, she is linked with ‘unnatural’ sexual practices and homosexuality. Simply by behaving as an aggressive woman Finley is seen to be performing lesbian acts, thereby eliciting a homophobic response. In addition, Hart reads Finley’s work as focusing on women’s devalued and abject role in society: Finley enacts roles from rape victims to housewives, railing against a system that ignores or devalues women’s accomplishments and injuries they suffer.
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