Quite a few artists have been moved to create work based on Eliot Spitzer’s dramatic downfall — in fact, recently the staff of nymag.com was invited to watch Dan Kois of the Vulture blog perform an interpretive dance about the scandal at a theater he’d set up in his mom’s basement, but no one went. But NYU professor and performance artist Karen Finley, who famously pissed off Jesse Helms by smearing chocolate on her nude body, is sure to effectively blow everyone away at tonight’s sixth annual meeting of the Cultural Studies Association at NYU. Finley was in Albany when the scandal broke and afterward spent hours making a series of sketches of Spitzer’s post-confession frowny face, concluding, according to City Room, that “the governor’s head and mouth resembled, respectively, a phallus and a sexual orifice.”
She will unveil said sketches and perform several monologues about the psychodrama tonight, including this fabulous dramatic reconstruction of what that fateful evening must have been like for Ashley Alexandra Dupré, a.k.a. “Kristen.”
She’s on the train. She’s getting her ticket. She’s waiting in line. She’s in Penn Station. She’ll try to make the most of it. She would rather be somewhere else. She’s getting dressed for him. She’s imagining the evening. She’s scheduled for his privacy. She’s not one woman. She is all woman. She is me. I am her.
Isn’t this genius? The first time we read it we fell into a fugue state where we swear we became Kristen.
She gives him her ticket. She packs her bag. She looked out the window. She waits her turn. She is getting closer. She is getting closer. She gets off the train. She takes the taxi. She goes to the hotel. She walks through the entrance. She takes the elevator. She has been there before. She knows her way. She’s still a bit nervous. She’s looking in the other direction. She checks her purse. She makes a call. She goes in the elevator. She pushes No. 8. She is alone in the elevator. She looks in the shiny copper. She walks to Room 871. She opens the door. She walks in the room. She takes off her coat. She draws the curtains. She turns on the TV. She prepares her body. She makes her toilet. She looks in the mirror. She waits. She is hesitant. She is anxious. She waits for him. She waits for my husband. No expectation. No obligation. Let me connect with her.
That’s all we got. If you want to hear Finley do the black-socks part, we imagine you’ll have to go to the show.
Spitzer Downfall Inspires Performance Art [City Room/NYT]
The Sixth Annual Meeting of the Cultural Studies Association [Cutural Studies Association]