F U T U R E R I T U A L : reading Book of Medicine

Between April and July 2020 F U T U R E R I T U A L presents a season of performances, workshops, screenings and discussion in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), and supported by Chisenhale Dance Space, the Live Art Development Agency and the Arts Council England.

Taking a close reading of Book of Medicine, the final collection of writings by Bob Flanagan (1952 - 1996) as a starting point, artist Martin O'Brien leads a seminar on Flanagan's life and work of in order think through sickness, queerness, mortality, eroticism and pain.

This event takes place in the ICA Studio. Participants are encouraged to share thoughts and feelings. Copies of Book of Medicine will be provided.

Bob Flanagan was an American performance artist who, together with his partner, collaborator and mistress, the artist and dominatrix Sheree Rose, explored illness, love, death and pain for sixteen years until his death from cystic fibrosis in 1996. Their collaborative performances, photographic works, videos and installations are well known for their physical and emotional extremity. Book of Medicine is Flanagan's final collection of writings, published by Rose 20 years after his death.​ O'Brien and Rose have become frequent collaborators, and Flanagan's work has been of huge personal and artistic significance to O'Brien.

Tuesday 16 June @ 19.00

Institute of Contemporary Arts (London)

Tickets / Facebook Event 


Martin O'Brien is a British performance artist who uses long duration, pain-based practices, endurance and humour to examine what it means to be born with the life shortening disease cystic fibrosis.

He has shown work throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Canada. This included Tate Britain, Spill Festival of Performance (both London), Kapelica Gallery (Ljubljana), Performatorium Festival of Queer Performance (Regina), Venice International Performance Art Week, In Between Time Festival of Contemporary Performance (Bristol), Grace Exhibition Space, Abrons Art Centre (both New York) and as artist in residence at ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives (Los Angeles). Martin has cystic fibrosis and all of his work and writing draws upon this experience. He is currently lecturer in Performance at Queen Mary University of London. He recently surpassed his life expectancy and is enjoying life as a zombie.

www.martinobrienart.com  //  @martinobrienart


© 2019 By Joseph Morgan Schofield.