Artist and novelist Fiona McGregor's new book, Buried Not Dead, is a collection of essays on art, literature and performance, sexuality, activism and the life of the city of Sydney.
It features performance artists, writers, dancers, tattooists and DJs, some of them famous, like Marina Abramovic and Mike Parr, while others, like Latai Taumoepeau, Lanny K and Kathleen Mary Fallon, are important figures but less well known. In her portraits of these performers and artists and the scenes they inhabit, McGregor creates an intimate and expansive archive of a kind rarely recorded in our histories.
Fiona McGregor has a deep and enduring involvement in the worlds she represents. She came of age as an artist during an outpouring of performative queer creativity, in a community that celebrated subversion, dissent and uninhibited partygoing, and in her writing she observes the shift from that moment to new forms of cultural repression. McGregor is a participant in her essays as well as a witness - she sees through an artist's eyes and records what she perceives with a novelist's insight. In excavating the lives of others, she reveals her own, and shows the possibilities that exist beneath the surface of our culture.
'Compromise-averse, dangerous, this book is also a precious archive of radical art-making witnessed firsthand.' - Maria Tumarkin
'MacGregor has a fine eye for the moment, in a text or performance, when the marvellous happens. Cutting across the boring divides between high art and low dives, Buried Not Dead is alive to what's alive.' - McKenzie Wark
'In a world that bludgeons you into numbness Buried Not Dead will startle you back to life. McGregor's book is a shriek of rage and a cry of pleasure, and sometimes it is hard to tell one from the other.' - Krissy Kneen
'A lively and unpretentious book, Buried Not Dead is reminiscent of the work of Kathy Acker and Eileen Myles - a collection that does not indulge in misplaced nostalgia, instead recontextualising the past in hopes of a shared future.' Cher Tan, Books+Publishing