Jeanne C. Finley

Region: San Francisco, CA
MacDowell fellowships: 1999

The work of Jeanne C. Finley is powered by the friction created between despair and its antidote, engaged storytelling. Finley marries the fictional with the documentary, the still with the moving image, the vernacular with cultivated elegance, the mythic with the mundane, and monumental social forces with the most humble of narratives. — Mark Alice Durant

Jeanne C. Finley works in film, video, photography, and installation to create hybrid documentary and expanded cinema projects. These projects utilize a variety of forms including site-specific projections, theatrical screenings, and engaged participatory events to reflect on the contested past, the turbulent present, and the unpredictable future. Finley weaves a discursive fabric between the imaginary and the document, allowing them to inform and challenge one another. She is a frequent collaborator with artists, scientists, audience, and subjects. Since 1989 she has completed many films and installations with John Muse.

Finley is a member of the Threshold Choir and frequently incorporates the choir and songs into her work. She has created projects through residencies at the Wexner Center Media Arts Program, Headlands Center for the Arts, the Camargo Foundation in France, the Arts Link Fellowship in Bosnia and Kazakhstan, the Fulbright Fellowship in Belgrade and the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Foundation in Istanbul, among others. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Guggenheim Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and New York Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, and the George Pompidou Center. She has received many grants, including a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Creative Capital Foundation grant, Cal Arts/Alpert Award, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and the Phelan Award. Her gallery work is represented by the Patricia Sweetow Gallery and her films are distributed by Video Data Bank, Women Make Movies, and Electronic Arts Intermix.



Jeanne C. Finley worked in the Firth studio.

Originally a working barn perched atop the namesake hill of Hillcrest Farm, this building was converted to serve the arts in 1956. A grand set of windows was installed to make the large interior suitable for visual artists, bringing in abundant natural light from the north. The addition of a screened porch and accessible entrance ramp…

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