Written in Sand

Karen Finley (USA)
Paul Nebenzahl (USA)

Thu 01 Jan 1970
Thu 01 Jan 1970
Thu 01 Jan 1970
Thu 01 Jan 1970

Barbican (Pit)

20:00
90mins

BSL Interpreted performance Friday 30 October

To book as part of the SPILL All-Seeing and WEEK 1 passes please call Toynbee Studios box office on 

020 7650 2350



Portrait by © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. All Rights Reserved.

EUROPEAN PREMIERE

WRITTEN IN SAND INCLUDES SOME OF KAREN FINLEY’S MOST SEARING WORK ON THE SUBJECT OF AIDS

The work was written at a time when medical treatment was ineffective and when Karen Finley was losing her friends to the disease on a continual basis. Some pieces are excerpted from her earlier shows of the era; others are based on writing she did at the time that has never been published or performed. Interspersing the Finley pieces are musical selections originally written or performed by musicians who died of AIDS during this period, performed by jazz artist Paul Nebenzahl.


A raging grief, adamantly undiminished

– New York Times


Born in Chicago international artist Karen Finley received an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute and is now a professor in Art and Public Policy at New York University and is author to 8 books. Her transgressive art crosses disciplines from performance, music, visual art, film, installation, social practice theatre, education and literature. Finley’s appearance in London at the ICA was censored in 1986.


Born in Chicago, Paul Nebenzahl is a performing musician in jazz, blues and classical performance on a variety of instruments including flute, harmonica and piano. He released his poetry collection, ‘Black Shroud With Rainbow Fringes’ in 2014. Nebenzahl has previously collaborated with Ms. Finley on works such as ‘Broken Negative’ and the Holocaust memorial ‘Open Heart’.


  • Presented by the Barbican in partnership with SPILL Festival of Performance
  • Development supported by The Performing Garage Presents
  • Production supported by Visual Aids, Kelly Writers House, at UPENN, University of Buffalo, Baruch Performing Arts Center and Spin Cycle

Other Karen Finley events in the festival: Ribbon Gate and Shock Treatment


Karen Finley on Twitter

Paul Nebenzahl on Twitter