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Controversial performance artist Ron Athey in Chicago
From a press release

This article shared 5708 times since Sat Jan 18, 2014
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DEFIBRILLATOR PERFORMANCE ART GALLERY in collaboration with Hook Torture Gallery and Mana Contemporary are proud to present two different performances by iconic body-based performance artist, RON ATHEY. Events to occur at MANA CONTEMPORARY, 2233 S. THROOP STREET, Chicago, on FRIDAY JANUARY 31 and SATURDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2014. Both performances begin at 8PM. On JANUARY 31, Athey will present, Incorruptible Flesh: Messianic Remains followed by a reception/talk-back. On FEBRUARY 1, Athey, Jon John, and Sage Charles will perform, Sebastiane, and Jon John will show a work of his own, The 2 of Us. Online donations of $30 earn a ticket. Advance tickets are strongly recommended and available through . These performances contain extreme images and subject matter. Please visit for more information.

Satellite events include a VIP Reception on THU JAN 30 @8PM ( tickets available by donation through Eventbright ) and a Panel Discussion with the artists and other experts on the topic of Body Modification on SUN FEB 2 @2PM, FREE. Both events at Defibrillator, 1136 N Milwaukee Avenue. Athey is also part of the Visiting Artist Program at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and will be giving an artist talk on TUESDAY FEBRUARY 4 @6PM at SAIC Columbus Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Dr. FREE. A signing of his recently released book will immediately follow: Pleading in the Blood: the Art and Performances of Ron Athey.

MAJESTY OF FLESH is a series of exhibitions and discussions initiated by Defibrillator to examine extreme uses of the body as site, research, and practice. Through this project we aim to build appreciation and awareness regarding the underrepresented genre of body modification within time-based art. Suka Off ( Poland ) kicked off the series in October 2013 and Rocio Boliver ( Mexico ) will complete the series in March 2014.

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 key themes including: gender, sexuality, SM and radical sex, queer activism, post-punk and industrial culture, tattooing and body modification, ritual, and religion. Visit Ron's Blog.

Messianic Remains is the fourth installation in the Incorruptible Flesh series. This work continues Athey's exploration of the continuation of his own post-AIDS body. The first installment, Incorruptible Flesh [In Progress] was developed as a collaboration in 1996 with the Chicago performance legend Lawrence Steger ( 1961-1999 ), in residence at the CCA Glasgow; on the 10 year anniversary of this work, Athey launched a 6 hour durational solo, Incorruptible Flesh: [Dissociative Sparkle] at the NRLA Glasgow, and the following year continued the Incorruptible series with Dominic Johnson in Perpetual Wound, exploring the myth of Philoctetes and Neoptolemus. Between 1996 and 2013, performances also took place in Chicago at the Big Goddess Pow Wow; Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana; Eurokaz, Zagreb; Chelsea Theatre London; Thessaloniki Biennial; Human Resources LA; Artists Space NYC; and at the memorials 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. PSi press, LA Weekly press .

In Sebastiane, Athey and Jon John are joined by performer/percussionist Sage Charles in taking the image and action of martyrdom to archetypal recovery, as inspired by the religious paintings of St. Irene tending to the body of the wounded saint. Ron Athey has been using the image of St. Sebastian in his performance work since its inclusion in ending scene of "Martyrs and Saints" in 1992. In 1993, the Sebastian image was revisited in "4 Scenes In A Harsh Life", though transferred onto a butch woman's body.

In 1999/2000's "Sebastian Suspended" translated the martyrdom as an action incorporating Athey's own body, which continued in later collaborative reworking of the piece with Jon John in 2012 for "St/Sebastian/50", performed on Athey's 50th birthday: .

Jon John is a French artist working with video, photography, installation and most notably performance. John utilizes the body; flesh, skin and blood as a vehicle for expression. His performances are famous for provoking, enlightening and moving its audience. Love, life and loss are combined with a veneration of ancient rituals to communicate his everyday life. Jon John's work is based on Ritualistic acts, going through various civilizations, cultures, religions, eras and aesthetics. Using ancient procedures and rites, merging them with his contemporary vision, Jon John shows us something very unique. His performances result in physical live acts mixed with eroticism, mysticism, poetic sensibility and emotions. . In The 2 of Us, John explores themes of love and loss, the resilience of broken heart and our yearning to heal and love again. For Jon John the act of love is one of the last surviving ecstatic rituals in our disposable society. .

Sage Charles is a poet, musician, and performer based in London, England. He has performed with Athey in "Incorruptible Flesh:Messianic Remains" at Stanford University and Human Resources in California, and at A.A. Bronson's "Ritual of Queer Rituals" event at Witt de Withe Gallery in Rotterdam, NL in 2013.

Ticket Donations:

$25 donation: EARLY BIRD single ticket UNTIL midnight, January 10.

$30 donation: single ticket AFTER JAN 10 until 7PM day of performance

$15 donation: STUDENT rate for single ticket. Must show valid student ID at door.

$35 donation: single ticket at the door on the night/s of the event.

$55 donation: BOTH PERFORMANCES + VIP reception. Available until 7PM FRI JAN 31.

$10 donation: VIP Reception THU JAN 30 @8PM @DFBRL8R. $15 at the door.

Other ( FREE ) events:

SUN FEB 2 @2PM @DFBRL8R | Panel Discussion: Body Modification. FREE.

TUE FEB 4 @6PM | Ron Athey Artist Talk, Visiting Artist Program ( VAP ). SAIC Columbus Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Dr. A book signing will immediately follow: Pleading in the Blood: the Art and Performances of Ron Athey. FREE.

Committed to presenting a vast range of styles and forms of time-based art, DEFIBRILLATOR PERFORMANCE ART GALLERY ( a.k.a. dfb or DFBRL8R ) is a nonprofit 501c3 arts organization dedicated to fostering local talent while invigorating the Chicago art community with artists from around the globe. Contextualizing performance within visual art, we embrace action-based or conceptual work by artists who look to the body, objects, space, and time for inspiration, research and practice.

This project is partially supported by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Visiting Artists Program and Department of Performance. Additional support by Hook Torture Gallery and Mana Contemporary. Defibrillator is partially supported by grants from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council Agency, and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

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