Queer Communion (Book)

Ron Athey

Ron Athey is one of the most important, prolific and influential performance artists of the past four decades. Queer Communion, an exploration of Athey’s career, refuses the linear narratives of art discourse and instead pays homage to the intensities of each mode of Athey’s performative practice and each community he engages.

Edition

Ron Athey is one of the most important, prolific and influential performance artists of the past four decades. A singular example of lived creativity, his radical performances are at odds with the art worlds and art marketplaces that have increasingly dominated contemporary art and performance art over the period of his career.
 
Queer Communion, an exploration of Athey’s career, refuses the linear narratives of art discourse and instead pays homage to the intensities of each mode of Athey’s performative practice and each community he engages. Emphasizing the ephemeral and largely uncollectible nature of his work, the book places Athey’s own writing at its centre, turning to memoir, memory recall and other modes of retrieval and narration to archive his performances.
 
In addition to documenting Athey’s art, ephemera, notes and drawings, the volume features commissioned essays, concise 'object lessons' on individual objects in the Athey archive, and short testimonials by friends and collaborators  including Dominic Johnson, Amber Musser, Julie Tolentino, Ming Ma, David Getsy, Alpesh Patel and Zackary Drucker, among others. Together they form Queer Communion, a counter history of contemporary art.

Amelia Jones is an art historian and art theorist, art critic, author, professor and curator. With Intellect, she previously published Perform, Repeat, Record: Live Art in History (2012), co-edited with Adrian Heathfield. 

Andy Campbell is an art historian, curator, lecturer and art critic who has worked with leading higher education institutions and museums.

Acknowledgments  Amelia Jones and Andy Campbell

Prelude  Amelia Jones and Andy Campbell

Introduction: Queer Communion and the Worlds of Ron Athey – Amelia Jones

Writing Athey – Amelia Jones

Previously Published – Unless otherwise noted, text entirely by Ron Athey

Unpublished  From the Ron Athey archive

Reflections

The Alchemist: Ron Athey – Lisa Teasley  

Anatomy of a Revival – Karen Gonzalez Rice

The Right to Bleed in Public: On Premature Ejaculation – Leon J. Hilton  

“A Poetry of Meaningful Experience”: Miss Velma Jaggers’s Stagecraft, Fisting, and Ron Athey’s Miraculous Acts – Andy Campbell

Ron Athey Rolls Deep – Lisa Newman

The Beauty of the Dork – Vaginal Davis and Ron Athey, reprint from LA Weekly

big brother/big sister – Cesar Padilla  

AIDS, Athey, and Culture War – Jonathan D. Katz  

An Unruly Archive By Each of Us Towards Each of Us… – Julie Tolentino  

Father Daughter Love – Zackary Drucker  

Athey-ism – Bruce LaBruce

Divine Fire: Ron Athey in Europe – Dominic Johnson  

The Light of Night – Lia Gangitano

Object Lessons 

Codpiece – Amelia Jones  

HIV Lifecycle Model – Andy Campbell  

Honcho – David Getsy  

“Rod ‘n’ Bob” (Arrested Intimacies of the Flesh) – Amber Jamilla Musser  

Leigh Bowery Cape – Alpesh Kantilal Patel  

Resonate/Obliterate (or, Untitled [Dear Ron]) – Ming-Yuen S. Ma 

“Raised in the Lord” – Jennifer Doyle

General Checklist Amelia Jones  

Ron Athey Timeline Ana Briz and Andy Campbell  

Index

'This charming and disarming homage to a unique figure provides a backbone to the kinds of invasive physical performance for which Ron Athey is best known. [...] It lives and breathes, creating a well-rounded sense both of a life’s work to date and of the man himself. Fans of Athey’s work, or certainly anyone with an interest in the kinds of experimental performance artists who came punctured and bleeding out of the early 90s will find a great deal of thoughtful, thought-provoking content here.'

Keri O'Shea, Trebuchet Magazine
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