In a collaborative performance, Ron Athey and Dominic Johnson explore Self-Obliteration, Inner Pigginess, and Mystical Grandiosity. Starting with a palate of ideas about sex, death and sparkle, the myth of Philoctetes is transplanted into the California deserts in the heat of August, creating rituals of transubstantiation in magickal excess.
Ron Athey and Lawrence Steger began researching the collaborative performance, Incorruptible Flesh, in 1996. Like wax dummy saints blessed with the miracle of inviolate bodies, there was much injecting and powdering to be done to fight off corrosion. The morbidity was driven by the shared, long-term HIV+ status of Athey and Steger--healthy and sick, respectively. In 2006, Steger now dead, Athey and Johnson continue the collaborative process, based around the myth of the perpetual wound.
Death Valley, population 9. Endurance and delirium at 56.7 degrees celsius, making salt flats into variations on creeping hope. Parched skins threatening to match the shattered surface. Destituted, then blowing away. The body's drip system would melt a hole through the salt floor, worn out bodies peering into the grave, to listen. Once, less mindful of the harsher realities of things, there was only sex, and love, and bright lights. Now not to be consoled, two bodies at other ends of the earth are moving together, in times for which there is no sun.
Oracles never speak: only echoes of messages, too vague to discern. The flesh is quickening with love's neglected waters. Against rigid landscapes, the pains we carry tighten into brilliance.