Ron Athey’s Acephalous Monster at REDCAT
Keywords:performance, film, performing arts
The work of artist Ron Athey has long befuddled the art historical establishment and has mostly remained under the philosophical radar. In this review of Athey’s Acephalous Monster, performed on August 28, 2021, at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater in Los Angeles, I propose a philosophical frame- work for Athey’s radical reinvention of ethical categories like agency, mutuality and communion. I describe the performance and its critical context in order to tease out the aesthetic dimension of this reinvention and the subversive power of reconstituting personhood along lines of collective artistic jubilation and creative survival.
Doyle, Jennifer. 2013. Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art. Durham: Duke University Press.
Gaut, Berys. 2010. “The Philosophy of Creativity.” Philosophy Compass 5:1034–1046.
Jones, Amelia, and Andy Campbell, eds. 2020. Queer Communion: Ron Athey. Bristol: Intellect.
Muñoz, José Esteban. 1999. Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Sheets, Hilarie M. 2021. “A Shapeshifting Woman Plays All the Parts.” The New York Times.
Whittacker, Nicholas. 2021. “Blackening Aesthetic Experience.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 79:452–464.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. Note: up to volume 4 issue 1, an incorrect copyright line appears in the PDFs of the articles.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).