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On The Edge!

There’s been talk recently about demos versus SM or bondage performance in my SF Leather community. Because I come from an improv theater background, love performance art and teach BDSM, this subject is dear to my heart.  This is Ron Athey on the streets of San Francisco.

June 28, I attended Ron Athey’s performance at Stanford University.  Part of Performance Studies International, his latest work, “Incorruptible Flesh: Messianic Remains,” left an indelible mark in my memory.  I relate to his dark and beautiful visions, mixing queer,  alternative culture and sexualities.

Ron pushes the limits of the body: there were hooks piercing his eyelids holding his eyes open, blood, a masochistic ritual immersed in heavy life and death symbolism.


What I like a lot about his art is he doesn’t tell you how to think.  He presents intense primal images, sounds, music,  blood rites  that expose you to his philosophy and politics and lets you draw your own conclusions or lack of.  I know Ron.  I love his daringness and his big appetite for life.  With an amazing eye for detail, contrast and a sense of beauty, his work is rather challenging  for vanilla folks.  That evening at Stanford the audience left the theater in complete silence.  I had just seen a ritual about mortality and spirit presented as performance art.

His images still linger in my mind.  I like art that stays with you.

I am into ritual, private and public.  Fakir and I did a hook suspension ritual performance in London At Torture Garden 2007.  It was not about death but rather about transformation and light.

The bird of clothespin feathers I performed with TJ a couple of days later really was an SM scene played in front of an audience who witnessed the energy and connection between us. Performance art, play scene.  Sometimes the line gets blurred, even for me.

bird 1

One thing I am sure of is that none of the above is a demo.

Bondage and SM performances abound these days in clubs, bars, faires & parties.   Often they are billed as demos.  To me they are not demos. Often they are not art either, even if they are titillating, engaging or shocking.  Demos instruct, share skills, motivation; demos explain our practices.  And a demo gives those in attendance the opportunity to ask questions.  I will be doing a demo at my Citadel class August 22!

Here are some more images of Ron Athey’s performance art for your enjoyment.

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In kink with heart,

Cléo Dubois

Ready to explore your kink? I coach couples in the privacy of my dungeon and offer Erotic Dominance Intensives to those eager to dive into this erotic pool.  Curious or confused about kink, let’s Skype about it.  Read a new real story here every Saturday morning at 10am!  Enjoy, comment, share!

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Absolutely gorgeous. I’ll check out more of his work. Thank you!

    August 3, 2013

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