Photo by Manuel Vason Ron Athey's Incorruptible Flesh: Messianic Remains
Unless you were one of the very first to enter Ron Athey's performance, Incorruptible Flesh: Messianic Remains, when the doors at Human Resources opened Wednesday night, you probably didn't see Athey right away. Instead, you saw the faces of the people who had gathered closely around the performance artist, some of them looking tenderly down and others looking less certain of how to feel. You also saw two barefoot figures, one woman and one man, with dark hair and in black robes carrying gold-colored buckets of Vaseline above their heads. Other assistants handed out rubber gloves. This was so that audience members who wanted to squeeze their way to the front of the crowd, could pull on a glove, dip their hand in a gold bucket and gently rub Athey's exposed skin.
As he has been in previous iterations of his Incorruptible Flesh series, Athey was naked on a slatted, chest-high metal table, though his exquisite tattoos make his skin look like a tribal tapestry and his nakedness seem more specific than most people's. He had hooks stuck into his brow and attached to strings tied the the metal rung behind his head, pulling his skin back. His hands upturned, and the rounded upper end of a blue and silver baseball bat sticking up into his rear from below the table.More »