25 October 2019

Acephalous Monster

Ron Athey  

Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
E1 6AB
London
UK
T 02072475102
E boxoffice@artsadmin.co.uk



7.30pm. £3-£20. In order to make this event accessible to all, we are operating pay-what-you-can ticketing. If you can afford to, please consider paying a little extra to help cover those who can't.

Acephalous Monster is a solo performance with projections, readings, lectures, appropriated text and sound. Largely inspired by the secret society of Acéphale, Andre Masson’s design of a mascot, and drawing parallels between pre-Occupation 30s Paris with pre-Operation Spanner UK, the work is an attempt to make sense of a current reality where neo-fascism is mutating, creeping, and marching.

Ron Athey is an iconic cultural figure who started in performance in the early 1980s in context of L.A.’s underground music scene. Best known for his boundary-pushing body mutilations, Ron Athey has been pursuing the transcendent and sublime through performance for more than three decades. Athey’s work invents new forms of ritual and celebration, conjuring the sacred as an antidote to the empty individualism of contemporary life, and pushing towards the merging of humans and gods.


This performance contains nudity, nudity, blood letting, BDSM, depictions of graphic consensual sexual activity and depictions and descriptions of violence and is only suitable for those over 18 years of age.  

Due the intense nature of the show, we recommend that if you are sensitive to any of the above, that you use discretion before buying tickets.

You can let us know your access requirements ahead of time by emailing access@artsadmin.co.uk.

About Ron

Ron Athey is an iconic cultural figure who started in performance in the early 1980s in context of L.A.’s underground music scene as a duo with Rozz Williams of Christian Death. In 1990 during the AIDS pandemic, he started showing individual and group works at art spaces like LACE, PS122, Highways, Randolph Street Gallery, and ICA London. Three major works comprising The Torture Trilogy were AIDS memorials about the nature of healing—tapping into the historical archetypes of religious painting and deity worship. The content of this work looked at the dead at what healing could be. These works toured worldwide throughout the 1990s, with themes such as Christian martyr saints, putting forth philosophical questions about the nature of identity, and questioning the limits of artistic practice. A monograph of his output was published in 2013: “Pleading in the Blood”, edited by Dominic Johnson.

In 2005 and 2018 he collaborated in experimental opera projects with soprano/musicologist Juliana Snapper, and Sean Griffin, opera composer. In 2018 he premiered Gifts of the Spirit, an opera made from automatic writing in layers leading up to real-time, made possible with a Mike Kelley Foundation Grant and the Broad Museum, held in L.A.’s 19th century cathedral of Vibiana. In November 2018 he premiered a new solo work in PSNY’s Posthuman series, "Acephalous Monster," inspired by the Georges Bataille-led secret society of Acephale, a group of intellectuals that were using magic ritual to unseat fascism. A new collaborative work premieres December 1, 2018 with Cassils and Arshia Fatima Haq at the Biosphere 2, entitled cyclic, presented by MOCA Tucson.

Coming up in 2020 is a survey of his output, curated and organized by the Art Historian and Roski chair, Amelia Jones, set to show at Participant, Inc. NYC; and other venues nationally, which will include set pieces, costumes, and photographs.

Photo by Rachel Papo

Photo by Rachel Papo

Acephalous Monster 2019-10-25 00:00:00 2019-10-25 00:00:00 Toynbee Studios, London UK
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