Pleading in the Blood

The Art and Performances of Ron Athey

Edited by Dominic Johnson

Edited by Dominic Johnson

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

With a Foreword by Antony Hegarty
248 pages | illustrated throughout | 7 x 10
Cloth $35.50 ISBN: 9781783200351 Published August 2013
Paper $36.00 ISBN: 9781783204274 Will Publish February 2015
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

Lambda Literary
"The performance artist is given space to tell his own childhood which is fitting as both now literary image and visual image are under Athey’s control. The whole book appears a lesson in discipline. It seeks to dispel myth."
American Theatre
Pleading in the Blood: The Art and Performances of Ron Athey is a beautifully illustrated catalogue raisonné in which Athey's extensive oeuvre is analyzed, placing him alongside Jean Genet, Antonin Artaud and Yukio Mishima, as well as contemporary art-world figures Chris Burden and Bob Flanagan. Athey's thoughtful biographical writing is interspersed with essays and texts by artists Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Lydia Lunch, Catherine Opie, Bruce LaBruce, Antony Hegarty, Robert Wilson and leading academics.”
Spencer Drew | Rain Taxi
"Athey represents one of the most compelling contemporary interpretations of the radical—scandalous, as some theologians say—notion that sovereignty can manifest as and be experienced via abjection."
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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