Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence, October - November 2010
Centre for the History of the Emotions, School of History
Ron Athey is an internationally acclaimed performance artist and experimental theatre maker. Athey has been a practicing artist since his first collaborations with Rozz Williams in Los Angeles in 1981. He rose to international prominence during the US culture wars of the early 1990s, when a section of Four Scenes in a Harsh Life (1994) brought his work to the attention of right-wing legislators, resulting in a denunciation by Jesse Helms on the Senate floor.
During his time at Queen Mary, Athey worked with the Centre for the History of the Emotions convening a series of lectures and workshops. He also created a new performance for the Outside AiR Festival, part of a Queen Mary Live Art initiative, which drew a large cast together in an expansive group performance. The co-performers included Queen Mary students, staff and alumni. The performance itself, Gifts of the Spirit Part One: Automatic Writing (A Study and A Score) focused on notions of channelling through automatic writing. These ideas are also explored in Athey's memoir, Gifts of the Spirit, and earlier multi-media work, JOYC.
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