X Artists’ Books Publish New Collection by Asher Hartman

Performance view, Man (Cliff Hengst) in Mr. Akita. Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College, 2015. Photos by Ian Byers-Gamber.

Artist-centered publisher X Artists’ Books has released Mad Clot on a Holy Bone: Memories of a Psychic Theater, the first published collection of the work of Asher Hartman (Art MFA 03) and his Gawdafful National Theater Company. 

In Mad Clot on a Holy Bone, Hartman mixes “historical metaphors and blur[s] the boundaries of theater-based performance.” The collection contains scripts of three of his plays, which continue his exploration of psychological violence in American culture: Purple Electric Play (PEP!) (2014), Mr. Akita (2015), and Sorry, Atlantis: Eden’s Achin’ Organ Seeks Revenge (2017). The book also includes a full-color photo insert, as well as additional visual documentation and essays.

In an introductory essay, School of Critical Studies faculty Janet Sarbanes elucidates on the plays’ development and context: “The frame—whatever it may be—simply cannot contain all the questions, life experience, and language Hartman and his actors jam into it. It fills to overflowing and explodes.”

Hartman, an interdisciplinary artist, writer, director, and intuitive practitioner, works at the junction of visual art and theater. He founded and has written for the the Gawdafful National Theater, a group of artist-actors, since 2010. Hartman also performs alongside interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker Haruko Tanaka in the performative psychic duo Krystal Krunch, and currently serves as a lecturer in the CalArts School of Theater.

Mad Clot on a Holy Bone is co-edited by Mark Allen (Art MFA 99) and Deirdre O’ Dwyer and designed by Becca Lofchie (Art MFA 20). Order the collection here.

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