Saturday, 10 September 2011

Ron Athey's First Major Publication - Call for Contributions

This will be the first ever publication devoted to the work of Ron Athey, a central figure in the development of performance art since the 1980s. Edited by Dominic Johnson, Pleading in the Blood: The Art of Ron Athey will foreground the prescience of Athey’s work, exploring how his visceral, body-based practice foresaw and precipitated the central place afforded to the body in art and critical theory in the 1990s and after. While histories of art, performance, theatre, and subcultures have consistently acknowledged Athey’s major contribution to the development of contemporary cultures, there has never been a dedicated book about him.Pleading in the Blood aims to fill this conspicuous gap.

Developed in close collaboration with Ron Athey, this book seeks to provide a critical overview of Athey’s practice. In his stagings of crisis, sexuality and death in the time of AIDS, Athey calls into question the limits of artistic practice. Athey has been a crucial figure in the development of performance art and body art; club performance; intersections between punk, queer and alternative cultures; sexual politics, specifically in relation to queer practices and the politics of HIV/AIDS; and the representation of religion and ritual.

Why the book needs support

We believe that this book will:
·        Introduce new audiences to the work and influence of Ron Athey
·        Provide a comprehensive and rigorous overview of Athey’s work for existing audiences
·        Contribute to critical discourses about the possibilities and limits of art and interdisciplinarity
·        Positively enhance public awareness and understanding of innovative and progressive artistic practice
·        Facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, including in the higher education, libraries, and archives sectors, and
·        Inform future artistic and critical practices and debates

The Agency and MIT Press have already raised two thirds of the publication’s budget. However, we believe that Pleading in the Blood merits the highest possible standards and be as richly illustrated and as lavishly produced as possible. Your support will strongly enhance those production values and will be a crucially needed step in meeting our collective vision for the book.

The book will track Athey’s work from the 1980s underground through to his influential works for festivals, galleries and museums, which have crucially impacted upon the development of body art, Live Art and experimental theatre. The book will include contributions from distinguished national and international artists, writers and scholars: six newly commissioned chapters on different aspects of Athey’s work; shorter ‘testimonials’ by artists; Athey’s own writings; and extensive full-colour images. Contributors include Amelia Jones, C. Carr, Adrian Heathfield, Lydia Lunch, Dominic Johnson and Patrick Califia amongst many others.

The book will be published in 2012.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Ron Athey at Borderline Bienalle

Ron Athey will be performing at the Borderline Bienalle in Lyon, France. Appearing on the Friday the 2nd of September, it will be the first of a series of performances leading up to his 50th birthday in December 2011.

Image by Catherine Opie
St/Sebastian/50 is a new version of the performance Sebastian Suspended from 2000, which was presented internationally in club and art settings. A short clip of the original performance, at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, can be viewed here:

For more details, pre-registration and a full program, visit:

Monday, 11 July 2011

Gifts of the Spirit Documentation

Gifts of the Spirit: Automatic Writing
Photograph by Roshana Rubin-Mayhew

Documentation from Ron Athey's performance, Gifts of the Spirit: Automatic Writing at Whitworth Hall, Manchester is now availble at

The performance was presented by 2 Gyrlz Performative Arts, in collaboration with Glorious Trauma and the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and it's Legacies. Preceded by two days of intensive workshops with Ron Athey and Sue Fox, it was presented in conjunction with the conference 'The Queer Theory of the Avant Garde' at Manchester University.

The performance was originally developed during an AiR Project residency at Queen Mary, University of London.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Gifts of the Spirit in Manchester

2 Gyrlz Performative Arts, in collaboration with Glorious Trauma and the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacies, is proud to present the Northern debut of “Gifts of the Spirit: Automatic Writing”

A performance installation conceived, scored and directed by Ron Athey with automatic composition and music performance by Othon Mataragas. They will be accompanied by 16 automatic writers, a piano, 6 typists, 4 editors, 1 reader, and a glossolalia chorus. The performance will take place in the historic Whitworth Hall on the University of Manchester campus on Monday June 27th at 7:00pm. 

For directions and campus map, please visit Admission is free, but as space is limited, you must reserve a ticket through accessing:

This event is presented in conjunction with:

The Queer Theory of the Avant-Garde
Organised by the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacies

27th and 28th June 2011
Kanaris Lecture Theatre, Manchester Museum

Registration for the conference: £15 (including refreshments)
email Joanna.Pawlik@manchester.a to register.

Gifts of the Spirit was originally devised during an AiR Project Residency at Queen Mary, University of London

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Self Obliteration I & II in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Self Obliteration I & II was presented on the 31st March 2011 by Galerija Kapelica at T5 Project Space in Ljubljana, Slovenia. All photographs by Miha Fras.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Self Obliteration in Ljubljana

On the 31st of March 2011 Ron Athey will be bringing his critically acclaimed solo piece, Self Obliteration  I & II to Ljubljana, Slovenia with Galerija Kapelica.

The piece has previously been presented in Berlin, Los Angeles, Glasgow and London.

'For those of us who watch – or bear witness, as it so often feels in Athey's performances – it is as if he is trying to obliterate our vision of him with his own bodily fluids...He is perfectly still, like an ancient battered rock: immense, blind and immovable.' - Lyn Garnder, Guardian (UK)

31st March 2011 - 9pm
T5 Project Space
Tobacna 5
Ljubljana - Galerija Kapelica website. (Slovenian)