Queer Communion : Ron Athey. Exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles

I’m delighted to contribute to Ron first major exhibition in LA with two large prints. The images were created in the Mojave Desert in 2014.

The Exhibition will open on the 19th of June and will run all the way till the 5th of September!

Queer Communion: Ron Athey is the first major U.S. solo museum presentation of renowned Los Angeles-based performance artist Ron Athey (b. 1961), organized by guest curator Amelia Jones, noted art historian and Robert A. Day Professor of Art & Design, Vice Dean of Academics & Research, and Chair of Critical Studies at USC Roski School of Art and Design. 

As one of the most generative and important performance artists to emerge in the twentieth century, Athey challenges traditional limits of artistic practice—activating the body as a site of trauma, resistance, sexuality, and religious ecstacy. The artist, who has been HIV positive since the mid-1980s, explores pain, fetishism, power, and queer politics, commenting on the intersections and synergies among Christian fundamentalist religious traditions and ritual, through highly visceral performances and interventions.

Queer Communion is a historical survey of Athey’s internationally influential body of work, tracing the development of his artistic practice outside of institutions in the music (post-punk and goth), literature, and self-publishing scenes of the 1980s before he gained an international profile and wider exposure in the 1990s, where his work was a lightning rod within the “culture wars.” It also establishes his creative trajectory and lifework through the lens of the queer communities and networks that Athey has engaged and helped form throughout his career. The exhibition comprises videos, costumes and props from performances, photographs from the artist’s extensive archive, press clippings, and other assorted ephemera, providing a discursive view of Athey’s diverse oeuvre interweaving music, literature, performance, film, politics, opera, religion, and theater. Examining Athey’s complicated relationship to institutions, the contemporary art market, and the art historical canon, this presentation situates his work as definitive of a radical practice where art-making is a form of communion.

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