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Pleading in the Blood
The Art and Performances of Ron Athey
Now Available
Price £27, $36
Purchase this book
ISBN 9781783204274
Paperback 216 pages
231 x 170
Published January 2015
Imprint: Intellect
Books by Dominic Johnson
Books in Performing Arts
Other books in this series

Edited by Dominic Johnson
Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments
Ron Athey is a central figure in the development of performance art since the early 1990s. This is the first book devoted to his practice, and 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 includes commissioned essays by Adrian Heathfield, Amelia Jones, and Dominic Johnson, complemented with shorter texts by Homi K. Bhabha, Jennifer Doyle, Tim Etchells,
Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Matthew Goulish, Lydia Lunch, Juliana Snapper, Julie Tolentino, Alex Binnie, Catherine (Saalfield) Gund, Bruce LaBruce and Catherine Opie. The book also includes Athey’s own writings and a foreword by Antony Hegarty (Antony and the Johnsons). It is lavishly illustrated with fullcolour images by photographers including Catherine Opie, Manuel Vason, Elyse Regher, Slava Mogutin,
Dona Ann McAdams, Bruce LaBruce, Rick Castro, Sheree Rose, Edward Colver, Jennifer Precious Finch, and others.
 
Dominic Johnson is an artist and writer based in the UK. He is a lecturer in the Department of Drama, Queen Mary, University of London, and publishes frequently on performance and visual culture.
 

Co-published with the Live Art Development Agency. Published with the support of Arts Council England.

Discount available via LADA

Chapter titles
FOREWORD
ANTONY HEGARTY
INTRODUCTION: TOWARDS A MORAL AND JUST PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
DOMINIC JOHNSON
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
RON ATHEY
‘THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO SAY HALLELUJAH!’
CATHERINE (SAALFIELD) GUND
‘DOES A BLOODY TOWEL REPRESENT THE IDEALS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE?’: RON ATHEY AND THE CULTURE WARS
DOMINIC JOHNSON
BOMBS AWAY IN FRONT-LINE SUBURBIA
HOMI K. BHABHA
DELIVERANCE: THE ‘TORTURE TRILOGY’ IN RETROSPECT
RON ATHEY
THE IRREPLACEABLE BODIES: RESISTANCE THROUGH FEROCIOUS FRAGILITY
JULIE TOLENTINO
ATHEY-ISM, COLLABORATION, AND HUSTLER WHITE
BRUCE LABRUCE
SEX WITH RON
JENNIFER DOYLE
THE MAN AND HIS TATTOOS (BY THE MAN WHO DID THEM)
ALEX BINNIE
THE MILK FACTORY ON WINCHESTER
MATTHEW GOULISH
FLASH: ON PHOTOGRAPHING RON ATHEY
CATHERINE OPIE
HOW RON ATHEY MAKES ME FEEL: THE POLITICAL POTENTIAL OF UPSETTING ART
AMELIA JONES
RAISED IN THE LORD: REVELATIONS AT THE KNEE OF MISS VELMA
RON ATHEY
JOYCE: THE VIOLENT DISBELIEF OF RON ATHEY
LYDIA LUNCH
JUDAS CRADLE: INVASIVE RESONANCE
JULIANA SNAPPER
ILLICIT TRANSIT
ADRIAN HEATHFIELD
BY WORD OF MOUTH: RON ATHEY’S SELF-OBLITERATION
TIM ETCHELLS
THE NEW BARBARIANS: A DECLARATION OF POETIC DISOBEDIENCE FROM THE NEW BORDER
GUILLERMO GÓMEZ-PEÑA
Reviews
''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, David J. Getsy

'What I admire most about 'Pleading in the Blood', and Athey’s work in general, is its deep embrace of the paradoxical, the “impulse to experience the miraculous” through the enactment of “visual atrocity” deriving from the alchemical—the artist’s ability to turn the epic failure of a family prophesy into its own form of revelation.' – Jane Ursula Harris, Cultural Politics

'Pleading in the Blood is essential reading for scholars of religion working at the intersection of ritual,performance, and contemporary art practices, as well as those with interest in abjection, gender and sexuality, the AIDS crisis, charismatic Christianity, and the construction of religious identity.' – Jeremy Biles, Religious Studies Review

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