Athey’s work resists formal introduction: he is an artist’s artist, a visionary, a dreamer, a transformer. Ron has blazed a path from the margins into clubs, galleries, and museums around the world; from the Pentecostal churches of his youth to the legendary goth punk and queer venues of the underground; from downtown SRO hotels to Hollywood. He’s even made it into the filthy mouths of evangelical lawmakers looking for ways to defund the NEA. — ZackaryDrucker
QUEER COMMUNION—RON ATHEY, the first retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work, is on view in lower Manhattan. Curated by Amelia Jones, the show explores the “generous extension of self into the world through a mode of open embodiment that enacts creativity in the social sphere through collective engagement as art.”*
ALTERED AFTER—a group show at Participant Inc featuring work by Darrel Ellis, fierce pussy, General Idea, Jerrythe Marble Faun, Leslie Kaliades, Kang Seung Lee, Ronald Lockett, Jonathan Molina Garcia, Cookie Mueller, Raúl de Nieves, Jason Simon, Manuel Solano, GailThacker, JulieTolentino, and XFR Collective—incorporates “archives, archaeology, salvaged objects, material migrations, inherited knowledge, and bequests in response to HIV/AIDS.”*
The exhibition is curated by Conrad Ventur for Visual AIDS.
“I’ve learned that we have to find our own saviors. For me, I like to create a fantasy, and one of the ways I’ve found beauty is by stacking beads on top of each other. I usually work in circles and let time shape the work…
“I guess I choose shoes as a vehicle to adorn myself, to give off different identities… The shoes are very organic. I actually see them grow. It pushes me to want to learn more about weight and design, to push them into new forms. But I also want them to design themselves in a way.” — Raúl de Nieves
In conjunction with ALTERED AFTER, Anthology Film Archives and Visual AIDS present RECORD TIME, a free evening of films and videos on August 8, curated by Carmel Curtis and LeeroyKun Young Kang.
The program includes SOMETHING FIERCE (1989)—Greg Bordowitz and Jean Carlomusto’s video for Gay Men’s Health Crisis—Colin Campbell’s SKIN (1990), NguyenTan Hoang’s K.I.P. (2002), Hayat Hyatt’s VILLANELLE (2015), Tran T. Kim-Trang’s KORE (1994), Barbara Hammer’s VITAL SIGNS (1991), and Jim Hubbard’s THE DANCE (1992).
“Dash [Snow] and David Hammons are both artists with a witch-doctor feel to their work, which is important, because ultimately what is the value of art?… In an increasingly secular society, it’s even more important as people try to form their belief systems. If you’re not going the readymade route, then you look around for the tools available to make something of your own. That’s a big part of the artist’s job or the writer’s job…
“It’s found in the moment, not in an academic way. You find it in the practice. I think the academic and institutional part of the art world is a big problem. Artists often collaborate with them to their detriment, because they think they need the institution as a go-between, a translator for the public. Dash, like Hammons, understood that you don’t need the middleman. Cut out the middleman. Make him wait in line with everyone else. It has to be on the artist’s terms.” — Glenn O’Brien on Dash Snow*
The new exhibition THE DROWNED WORLD presents work from the late artist’s archive, including a selection of rarely seen sculptures.