The New Social Environment#259

Queer Communion: Ron Athey with Amelia Jones


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Artist Ron Athey joins art historian and professor Amelia Jones for a conversation. We’ll conclude with a poetry reading by Andrea Abi-Karam.

Ron Athey

Ron Athey, Acephalous Monster, 2019, MoCA Skopje. Photo: Andreja Kargačin. [The artist Ron Athey, wearing a minotaur mask, is seated in a shallow box of viscous fluids under a blacklight in shades of blue, white, and pink, covered in drippy fluids.]
Ron Athey, Acephalous Monster, 2019, MoCA Skopje. Photo: Andreja Kargačin. Courtesy of Participant Inc.
(b. 1961) identifies as a self-taught artist, having, since 1980, life of experience in Los Angeles post-punk performance scenes. He has collaborated with performers, visual artists, and opera directors, participated in philosophy seminars, and has visiting artist teaching history at Cal Arts, Roski, UCLA, and Queen Mary University, London. Recent projects include, among others, Acephalous Monster at Performance Space NY, as well as community-based projects such as Gifts of the Spirit, a collectively authored automatic writing opera. Athey has received numerous grants and fellowships, most recently the Harpo Foundation Fellowship 2021. Upcoming projects include a live art/video production in collaboration with Hermes Pittakos, The Asclepeion.

Amelia Jones

Amelia Jones
Robert A. Day Professor and Vice Dean of Academics & Research in Roski School of Art & Design at USC. Amelia is the curator of the critically acclaimed exhibition Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago’s ‘Dinner Party’ in Feminist Art History, at the Hammer Museum, and organized the exhibition Material Traces: Time and the Gesture in Contemporary Art at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery in 2013. Recent publications include Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts and the anthology Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories. The catalogue Queer Communion: Ron Athey, has been listed among New York Times' “Best Art Books 2020.” Her book In Between Subjects: A Critical Genealogy of Queer Performance is published in 2021 by Routledge Press.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and we’re fortunate to have Andrea Abi-Karam reading.

Andrea Abi-Karam

Andrea Abi-Karam by @catsphotoshoot
Photo by @catsphotoshoot
A trans, arab-american punk poet-performer cyborg, writing on the art of killing bros, the intricacies of cyborg bodies, trauma and delayed healing. Selected by Bhanu Khapil, Andrea’s debut EXTRATRANSMISSION (Kelsey Street Press, 2019), is a poetic critique of the U.S. military’s role in the War on Terror. Simone White selected their second assemblage, Villainy for publication in September 2021 at Nightboat Books. With Kay Gabriel, they co-edited We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2020). They are a leo currently obsessed with queer terror and convertibles.