ICA LA presents this program in three parts:
1) Watch Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance online in a limited release from Monday, July 26 to Wednesday, July 28 in preparation for a July 28 discussion. Check our website on July 26 or you will be notified when you register for the talk.
Please Note: This film is considered for adult audiences only. Content and may be challenging for some viewers.
2) Register for the online Zoom webinar with artist Ron Athey, filmmaker Catherine Gund, and legal scholar Kendall Thomas on Wednesday, July 28 at 6pm here.
3) Read the original 1999 BOMB magazine interview between Gund and Thomas about the filmmaker and her film Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance here
In 1996, Catherine Gund founded Aubin Pictures with a mission to “sustain social justice through transformative, community-based production and impactful distribution of media.” Gund filmed the performance artist Ron Athey and his collaborators and released the documentary portrait Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance in 1998.*
Kendall Thomas, a scholar of law and sexuality and human rights, interviewed Gund for BOMB magazine to explore the power of capturing the artist’s provocative and transformative performances during a time when the country was reeling from the AIDS crisis and a culture war was decimating public funding for the arts.
In 2021, we have Queer Communion: Ron Athey, a museum retrospective of the artist. We continue to be kept in chaos with the menace of supremacist conservatism and the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.
We invite you watch a special limited release of Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance and to join artist Ron Athey, filmmaker Catherine Gund, and scholar Kendall Thomas in a comparative analysis of then and now.
Los Angeles-based artist Ron Athey has been working at the vanguard of performance art for 30 years. Self-taught, he has performed extensively at clubs, alternative spaces, festivals, and museums in the U.S. and abroad. Athey formed a company of performers in the 1990s, producing the Torture Trilogy, addressing the AIDS pandemic through memorializing and philosophical reflection. He has developed genre-stretching theatrical works like Joyce(2002), The Judas Cradle (2005), and major solo performances, including Sebastiane (2014), Incorruptible Flesh (2006), and The Solar Anus (1998). Currently, Athey is performing Gifts of the Spirit (2018), which returns to his Pentecostal roots, with an embodied performance anchored in the spiritual; and Acephalous Monster (2018), a multimedia performance with projections, readings, lectures, appropriated text, and sound.
Founder and Director of Aubin Pictures, Catherine Gund is an Emmy-nominated producer, director, writer, and activist. Her media work focuses on strategic and sustainable social transformation, racial justice, arts and culture, HIV/AIDS and reproductive justice, and the environment. Her films have screened around the world in festivals, theaters, museums, and schools; on PBS, the Discovery Channel, Sundance Channel, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Gund is the director of Aggie (Sundance, Doc Fortnight), a stunning journey with powerhouse art maverick Agnes “Aggie” Gund who sold a Roy Lichtenstein painting to end mass incarceration through her Art for Justice Fund fueling artists and activists working at the forefront of the movement; Dispatches From Cleveland (CIFF, MSPIFF), a five-chapter documentary that looks at the police murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and shows how people joined together to vote out the prosecutor who didn’t have their backs; Chavela (Berlinale, Hot Docs, Ambulante), a documentary about the life of the iconic Latin American gender-ending diva, Chavela Vargas; America; Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity; What’s On Your Plate?; Making Grace; and Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance.
Gund currently serves on the boards of Art For Justice, Art Matters, Baldwin for the Arts, and is the Chair of The George Gund Foundation. She co-founded the Third Wave Foundation which supports young women and transgender youth, and DIVA TV, an affinity group of ACT UP/NY. She was the founding director of BENT TV, the video workshop for LGBT youth. She was on the founding boards of Bard Early Colleges, Iris House, Working Films, Reality Dance Company, and The Sister Fund and has also served for MediaRights.org, The Robeson Fund of the Funding Exchange, The Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School, and the Astraea Foundation. An alumnus of Brown University and the Whitney Independent Study Program, she lives in NYC with her four children.
Kendall Thomas, a scholar of constitutional law, critical race theory, law and sexuality and human rights, is the Nash Professor Law and director of the Studio for Law and Culture at Columbia Law School. He is the cooeditor of Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement (New Press, 1995) with Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Neil Gotanda, and Gary Peller, of What’s Left of Theory? (Routledge, 2000) with Judith Butler and John Guillory, of Legge, Razza e Diritti: La Critical Race Theory negli Stati Uniti with Gianfrancesco Zanetti (Diabasis, 2005), and The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education: Reflections and Colloquy with Jack Greenberg (Twelve Tables Press, 2009). An activist educator, Thomas is a past chair of the jurisprudence and law and humanities sections of the Association of American Law Schools and a founding member of the Majority Action Caucus of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, Sex Panic!, the AIDS Prevention Action League and the Board of Directors of the New York City AIDS Memorial.