Pleading in the Blood: The Art and Performances of Ron Athey

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Intellect Books, 2013 - Art - 248 pages
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Ron Athey is an iconic figure in the development of contemporary art and performance. In his frequently bloody portrayals of life, death, crisis, and fortitude in the time of AIDS, Athey calls into question the limits of artistic practice. These limits enable Athey to explore in his work key themes including gender, sexuality, S&M and radical sex, queer activism, post-punk and industrial culture, tattooing and body modification, ritual, and religion. Now in a second edition, Pleading in the Blood foregrounds the prescience of Athey’s work, exploring how his visceral practice foresaw and precipitated the central place afforded sexuality, identity, and the body in art and critical theory in the late twentieth century.
 
"Pleading in the Blood offers a remarkable and enduring contribution to literatures on performance and contemporary art. . . . The potency of myth in Ron Athey’s work is the problem tackled by this formidable new book.” --Contemporary Theatre Review
 

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Contents

Contents
7
FOREWORD
9
TOWARDS A MORAL AND JUST PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
10
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
42
THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO SAY HALLELUJAH
54
RON ATHEY AND THE CULTURE WARS
64
BOMBS AWAY IN FRONTLINE SUBURBIA
94
THE TORTURE TRILOGY IN RETROSPECT
100
THE POLITICAL POTENTIAL OF UPSETTING ART
152
REVELATIONS AT THE KNEE OF MISS VELMA
180
THE VIOLENT DISBELIEF OF RON ATHEY
194
INVASIVE RESONANCE
198
ILLICIT TRANSIT
206
RON ATHEYS SELFOBLITERATION
226
A DECLARATION OF POETIC DISOBEDIENCE FROM THE NEW BORDER
234
FURTHER READING
238

RESISTANCE THROUGH FEROCIOUS FRAGILITY
110
ATHEYISM COLLABORATION AND HUSTLER WHITE
118
SEX WITH RON
124
THE MAN AND HIS TATTOOS BY THE MAN WHO DID THEM
130
THE MILK FACTORY ON WINCHESTER
136
ON PHOTOGRAPHING RON ATHEY
142
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES
242
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
244
INDEX
246
UNTITLED
248
BackCover
250
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Dominic Johnson is a senior lecturer in the Department of Drama at Queen Mary University of London and the author of Glorious Catastrophe: Jack Smith, Performance and Visual Culture.

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