"Messianic Remains" is the fourth installation in Ron Athey's series of performances, "Incorruptible Flesh." This performance continues Athey's exploration of the continuation of his own post-AIDS body. Previous installments were done in collaboration with the late Lawrence Steger (who died of AIDS in 1999), and in the new millennium with London-based artist Dominic Johnson. Between 1996 and 2007, performances have been staged in Glasgow, at the Chelsea Theatre in London, and at the funerals of Leigh Bowery in New York and Amsterdam. As in earlier works in the series, Athey rides the grandiose myth of enlightenment that only the face of death may reveal.
This event is sponsored in part by UC Riverside's Queer Lab. In 2009, Ron Athey led a performance workshop for artists in Riverside and collaborated with Julie Tolentino on a performance program that included Zackary Drucker and Heather Cassils. That project was organized by UC Professor (and member of HR's collective) Jennifer Doyle, who has since published a book featuring writing about Athey's practice and its importance. Later this month, Doyle will host a conversation about Athey's work - look for details about that event on our website.
"It's a carnal refusal to turn one's eye to the heavens, an insistence on both the magic and the banality of the flesh. It's what the body becomes under the disco ball's 'dissociative sparkle,' the weird and funny appeal of pearls pulled from his ass, or the reveal of wounded flesh: the ordinariness of touch and the frank brutality of the nurse." - Jennifer Doyle, Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art
More Ron Athey in Los Angeles: July 14 2pm, book launch for Pleading in the Blood: The Art and Performance of Ron Athey at Redcat, thanks to OUTFEST! Free.