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.
Intellect Books, Spring 2020. 456 pages, 244 x 170 mm.
This volume is a study of the connected ideas of "queer" and "gender performance" or "performativity" over the past several decades, providing an ambitious history and crucial examination of these...