Kathy Acker (1947-1997)
Wer hat Angst vor Kathy Acker? aka Who´s Afraid of Kathy Acker ? (2007)
With freedom of expression once again under fire, who´s afraid of kathy acker? explores the unbelievably extreme life of punk icon Kathy Acker, whose sexually explicit writing expanded the limits of female self-expression but was also banned in many countries.
Kathy Acker, the outrageous punk icon banned in Germany but named in 2005 one of America's original outlaw writers by the New York Times, lived life her life without boundaries. A friend of William Burroughs and Patti Smith, Acker was fascinatingly complex: A tattooed, foul-mouthed, Harley Davidson Rider who took opium & enjoyed sex with both men & women, she was also an intellectual who studied Classics at one of America's top universities. Her celebrated novel, Blood & Guts in High School, which pioneered innovative sampling techniques, sold out within a week of its release. Proclaiming that There was no female language given me, Acker rejected her wealthy New York background to champion voices from the edge of society: the Bowery bums, crack whores, & blacks left behind by greed is good Reaganomics. Acker, the Mother of the Riot Grrls, became a myth through living life like one of her characters; inspired by the French libertine writers de Sade & Genet, she worked in sex shows on Times Square, dabbled in sadomasochistic sex & had her labia pierced high on coke. The heir to Burroughs, Acker rewrote the world in her own image, blending fact & fiction, biography & dream imagery, hardcore sex & incisive political satire in a non-narrative cyber-punk style. She stole heavily from classic fiction to rewrite the heroes as female, a transgender, appropriative method that drew both praise and criticism. Acker challenged society's ideal of femininity, daring to be tough & vulnerable at the same time. She left behind a legacy of sixteen novels that cannot be ignored, but she learned the hard way that breaking the rules never comes cheap. (Andrew Standen-Raz)