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VITAL SIGNS | Performances by Performance Artists Ron Athey + Keijaun Thomas
Ron Athey performs “Regarding the Forest of Acéphale (excerpts from upcoming ‘Pure Immanence’ performance with Cassils and Arshia Haq)”. Reworked from the Catholic tradition, Athey will vocalize Litanies of the Saints, and Litanies of the Dying. This leads to instructions and texts from the secret society of Acéphale, constructed by Georges Bataille in 1936; the mascot is headless, stands in for both the death-of-God and to celebrate the decapitation of Louis XVI, accompanied by repetitive meditations (texts of Nietzsche and Sade) and esoteric references. As dark a time as this was with the inevitable fascist occupation, the nugget of these rituals, by almost any means necessary, were meant to disrupt the power of fascism. A final action of Funeral Rites will be performed, with select preservatives.
Following "Regarding the Forest of Acéphale," the audience will move over to Memorial
Auditorium Main Stage as Keijaun Thomas performs "My Last American Dollar: Round 1.
Tricking and Flipping Coins: Making Dollars Hit, Round 2. Black Angels in the Infield:
Dripping Faggot Sweat, Round 3. Whatchu Gonna Do: Marvelous like Marva." Thomas meditates
on resistance , asking: how do we resist temptation? How do we slow down? How do we
play? How do we survive? She has been thinking about five spaces/environments that
frame her research: locker rooms, strip clubs, waiting rooms, church pews, and field
In “My Last American Dollar,” Thomas builds a “waiting room” inside of a room: church pews and benches become spaces for audience members to watch her and themselves. Sometimes she is her -- she is your dancer. Her back sweat is your holy water in our locker room. Her speech becomes locker room talk, the “boys” playing in the field. The project investigates forms in which black and brown people hold space for each other; how do you carry the multiplicities of being young, gifted and black?