Ron Athey performer, concept – Sean Griffin director – Opera Povera Sound – Hermes Pittakos mask – Christian Landon wigs – Graham Kolbeins videography – Antigona Gonzalez lighting design – Ediger-Seto Robin A. videography

Today, living in Trump’s America and faced with the rise of fascism, the Californian body artist Ron Athey feels an artist’s need to invent rituals. He is inspired by the secret society founded by the writer Georges Bataille under the Nazi occupation and, in Acephalous Monster, brings together texts by Bataille, beat poet Brion Gysin and performer and musician Genesis P-Orridge. He also summons the figures of the Minotaur, Hitler and Louis XVI of France. Together, they are able to enter the era of “the death of God” as prophesied by Nietzsche. Although, in all honesty, God has long been dead in this artist’s universe, having survived the religious indoctrination of his childhood; AIDS, which had a major influence on his work; and the American extreme right which was out to get him. According to Athey, disruption is the only effective approach. In order to disrupt, he uses the voice of a depraved preacher, his strangely modified, harnessed body, and his expertise when it comes to unforgettable images; somewhere between Christian altarpieces and fairground attractions.

Commissioned by Performance Space (New York). Co-presented by Studio Thor and Bozar in the framework of the festival Trouble #10.