11 YEARS - Anniversary Group Show: December 6 - 23, 2014

11th year Anniversary Exhibition

Ron Athey / Josh Bolin / Daniel Brice / Thomas Burke / Carole Caroompas / Cole Case / Alec Egan / Samantha Fields / Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose / Tim Forcum / Eric Freeman / Sush Machida Gaikotsu / Margaret Griffith / Dion Johnson / Ali Kheradyar / Patrick Lee / Joe Lloyd / Zachari Logan / Bob Mizer / Matthew Penkala / Nancy Riegelman / Chad Robertson / Joe Schmelzer / Nicolas Shake / Aaron Sheppard / Arne Svenson / Christian Tedeschi / Tom of Finland / Mark Dean Veca / Wayne White / Jessica Wimbley

Western Project proudly presents our 11th Year Anniversary Exhibition marking a decade and a year of programming. As one of the pioneer galleries of the Culver City arts district, the show will include gallery artists and some special guests; each an irregular, unruly and often impolite force of nature, all burdened with the disease of individual thinking and a call to find a greater depth of human experience. We celebrate with abandon and humor, knowing our job is yet unfinished.

"The Displaced Person" at Invisible-Exports: Critic's Pick on artforum.com with Ron Athey mention

For original post on artforum.com click here

“The Displaced Person”Ron Athey 02.02.12 Author: Joseph Akel

 01.06.12-02.12.12 Invisible-Exports

 Alienation, it would seem, can be a creative force for inclusion. And, as each of the artists in “The Displaced Person” proves, one is rarely found without the other. Freud viewed alienation as the by-product of a cultural divorce between man and his natural impulses. For the artists exhibited, it’s in the very gaps between body and ideology that one finds reconciliation between the two.

Performance artist Ron Athey’s installation Foot Washing Set w/ Blonde Hair Towel, 1996, typifies the artist’s melding of religious and BDSM rituals. A nod to the Christian practices of foot washing (see Luke 7:44), Athey’s twist on the tradition includes a handwoven towel made of hair, and a bloodstained cactus-spine brush. Here the body, or rather its sanguineous traces, becomes a symbolic site on which, as with Christian theology, dogma supercedes the physical. In Sue Williams’s My Oeuvre, 2005, the presentation of the body in fragments lays bare perceptual attitudes towards it. A cartoonish bioamorphous mass of sphincters, orifices, and bulbous mounds, Williams’s anatomical fantasy points far less to any recognizable specific sex organ than to collective impressions forced upon them.

With Walt Cassidy’s The Weeping Tower, 2011, the artist examines structures that impose both conformity and alterity on the body. Carbon photographic prints of idyllic male youths, framed within hand-drawn structures, reflect an eroticization of, and dislocation from, the male form. Tellingly, Cassidy’s choice of settings includes New York’s Jacob Riis beach—honoring a man who documented the blight of the industrial era’s downtrodden. Each of the works in this exhibition reminds us that those on the fringe often find themselves center stage.

For original post on artforum.com click here

"Pleading in the Blood: The Art of Ron Athey"

A major publication dedicated to the pioneering and influential performance artist, Ron AtheyEdited by Dominic Johnson

Pleading in the Blood: The Art of Ron Athey will be co-published by the Live Art Development Agency (UK) and The MIT Press (USA).

"..While histories of art, performance, theatre, and subcultures have consistently acknowledged Athey’s major contribution to the development of contemporary cultures, there has never been a dedicated book about him. Pleading in the Blood aims to fill this conspicuous gap. .."

We can help fill this gap by supporting this project  HERE.

Ron Athey

Click here to support this ambitious publication through indiegogo.com


Western Project - The First Six Years / Group Show / 2009

November 7 – December 30, 2009 Opening reception Saturday November 7th 5-8pm.

Jason Adkins, Oliver Arms, Ron Athey, Tanya Batura, Heimir Björgúlfsson, Daniel Brice, Thomas Burke, Carole Caroompas, Cole Case, Exene Cervenka, Kris Chatterson, Justin Dahlberg, Michael Dee, Tom of Finland, Eric Freeman, Sush Machida Gaikotsu, Martin Gunsaullus, Ellina Kevorkian, Patrick Lee, Bob Mizer, Michael Reafsnyder, Nancy Riegelman, Chad Robertson, Joe Schmelzer, Aaron Sheppard, Arne Svneson, Vincent Valdez, Mark Dean Veca, Wayne White, Eve Wood, Yek

Western Project is pleased to present, The First Six Years, an anniversary exhibition of the gallery and its artists. Thirty one artists are included with new or recent works. The exhibition is also a celebration of the founding of the arts community in Culver City; Western Project being the third gallery to open its doors in November of 2003.

Ron Athey: Video Stills and Set Pieces From An Opera / 2006

September 16 – October 28, 2006

Opening reception: Saturday September 16th, 5-8pm.

Western Project is pleased to present the first solo exhibition by Ron Athey. As one of the most important performance artists in the last twenty years, his work has influenced a generation of younger artists. Athey nose-dives into subjects and content which are visceral, challenging and difficult – the corporeal flesh, its possibilities and the knowledge it can reveal. His work can be traced from the historic lineage of Herman Nitsch, the Vienna Action Group, Leigh Bowery and Amy Semple McPherson. The exhibition includes:

Video Stills: select images from Athey’s performances The Solar Anus (1998-2000) and Sebastian Suspended (1999) in 6x8” format.

Set Pieces from an Opera: The Judas Cradle (2005-06): reconstruction of medieval torture device and circular “glossalalia station.”

“Ron Athey’s asshole has its own place in the history of contemporary performance art. In the 1998-2000 Solar Anus, he pulls a string of pearls from the puckered orifice, decorated with an elaborate and appealingly symmetrical black sunburst tattoo.  His body is both shown to be holy (inspired by a divine something, its potential transcendence forever yanked back to the immanence of holes and flesh) and enacted as a picture – but of what? Saying “queer body” or “queer subject” is not enough.”

--Amelia Jones, “Holy Body,” TDR 2006

In Ron Athey’s Video Stills, intimate 6x8” photographic works, narratives unfold into quite different disparate directions. In the Sebastian Suspended series, Athey is martyred by Darryl Carlton and frames reveal a dissociated ecstatic. In Solar Anus, an homage to both Georges Bataille and Pierre Molinier,  Athey becomes far more garish, transforming his face (and asshole) into something glamorous and unreal.

The individual Set Pieces polarize between rugged (wooden anal torture device) and sparkle (circular frame with solid beaded curtain), both designed and used to perform in physical trance states: transcendent atrocity exhibition through live penetration, ecstatic state through channeling spirit language.

“In JC, the highest of high culture (opera) is turned inside out. The habituated body of the heterosexual matrix (exaggeratedly performed in opera) is violently wrenched from its place through the deliberate perversions of sado-masochism – the dual poles of which themselves are parodied and overturned as Athey and Snapper continually change roles.”

--Amelia Jones, “Holy Body,” TDR 2006

Ron Athey is a Los Angeles-based artist and writer. He has recently shown work at the Hayward Gallery in London, and the NRLA in Glasgow. His upcoming November multi-media performance (made in collaboration with Dominic Johnson) inspired by the myth of Philoctetes, will premiere at London’s Chelsea Theatre. He has previously exhibited at , and previously at the Matthew Marks Gallery, NY, The Walker Art Museum, MN, the Institute of Contemporary Art, London and numerous other institutions in France, Germany, Denmark, Croatia, Slovania, Italy, Brazil, Belgium, etc.

Relevant books:

Saint Sebastian: A Splendid Readiness for Death, catalogue from Kunsthalle group show, Wien

Live Culture, catalogue from Tate Modern group show, artist pages and writing

In This house That I Call Home: Group Show / 2006

January 7 – February 4, 2006 Reception for the artists Saturday, January 7th 5-8pm

Oliver Arms Ron Athey Tanya Batura Carole Caroompas Cole Case Justin Dahlberg Katie Herzog Matthew Jordan Lisa Mraz John Scaraga Joe Schmelzer John Schlue Wayne White

Western Project begins the New Year with a group exhibition exploring ideas and experiences of the home. From heaven, to hell and back, it is interpreted by this group of artists with conviction and authority. Carole Caroompas realigns the myth of Rapunzal and her crumbling castle in a huge and complex canvas; accompanied by Ron Athey’s hair towels made of woven wigs - quite the untraditional handicrafts. Matthew Jordan photographs the silence and order of his bedroom, while Lisa Mraz hangs her linens out to dry on a most caustic laundry line. John Scaraga fatigues images of men and women from fashion magazines by hand – a lone and peculiar activity, equaled by Tanya Batura’s Inhale/Exhale S & M ceramic heads. John Schlue paints recipe cards from his Midwestern kitchen invoking a kind of high caloric minimalism, homespun and as purposely skewed as Wayne White’s Americana relic paintings. Katie Herzog dreams of her cat (XXX) and Joe Schmelzer continues the documentation of his life with his two partners. All in all, there are no rules, party or not, but there is a vibrancy of life that defies categories and boxes, and variance is the key and the practice. The mystery of life bubbles up through our own living room – fantastic, frightening and exhilarating – reasonable and fucked up – horny and monastic – loving and with a sharpened sword – the artists hold up the looking glass, and it is unexpectedly beautiful.

(Thank you Exene and John)

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Baby: Group Show / 2004

January 3 – February 14, 2004 Opening reception January 3rd, 6-9 pm.

Anthony Ausgang, Ron Athey, Carole Caroompas, Nathalia Edenmont, Tom of Finland, Sush Machida Gaikotsu, Ellina Kevorkian, Bob Mizer/AMG, Catherine Opie, Michael Perelman, Richard Renaldi,  Joe Schmelzer, Timothy Tompkins, Holly Topping, Wayne White, Eve Wood

Western Project is proud to present 16 artists in the first show of 2004. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Baby is a group exhibition presenting a constellation of images – a miasma of contemporary sensibilities addressing nature, humor, eros, violence and culture. The premise of ‘the garden of Eden’, filtered through the 17 minute opus by Iron Butterfly in 1968, was a psychedelic whirlwind – a kind of extended atmosphere pulsing and punctuated as a sensual, rhythmic, altered reality.

This exhibition is a grouping of hyper-real psychedelic images – at once disjointed, and yet connected visions of life. Perhaps not a garden of earthly delights in total, as there are thorns in any yard, but all 16 artists tend towards an unreasonable faith to create voraciously or intently in our splintered and spinning time. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Baby is a declaration, an attitude, a show, and possibly the most loving middle finger of life.

For further information and visuals, please contact the gallery at 310-838-0609 or www.western-project.com