Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre: Sheree Rose and Martin O’Brien


Love is Still Possible in this Junkie World?
A conversation between Sheree Rose and Martin O’Brien on sexuality, love death, pain and art.  

Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, with support from BiGS (Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality)

  • Friday 27 November, 5-6.30 pm, G10.

Sheree Rose was born in Los Angeles, CA. She obtained her Master’s degree in psychology in the late 70s, and was extremely involved in political activism and The Women’s Movement. She received a second Masters Degree in Studio Art from UCI. Rose and Bob Flanagan met at a Halloween party in 1980 and began collaborating in life and on artwork. Together they explored issues of pain/pleasure, illness and death though profound works involving sadomasochism. They performed and exhibited throughout the world over a 16-year period and became one of the most significant performance art collaborations in history. Flanagan died of cystic fibrosis in 1996. Since Flanagan’s death, Rose has exhibited new work ‘Bobaloon’ in Tokyo, Japan, as well as other works at The Tate in London. She created a performance piece entitled ‘Nailed Again’ at Arizona State University and Galapagos in New York. Rose continues to explore and collaborate with performance artists, particularly with the UK based artist Martin O’Brien with whom she has made several pieces of work in London and LA. Martin O’Brien has been commissioned and funded by the Live Art Development Agency, Arts Council England, Arts Catalyst, Midlands Art Centre, and the British Council. He has presented work throughout the UK, Europe and the USA. He has often collaborated with the legendary performance artist Sheree Rose. He was artist in residence at ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, LA, in 2015. He curated the groundbreaking symposium ‘Illness and the Enduring Body’ in 2012. Martin received a PhD from the University of Reading and his work has received critical attention in publications such as Contemporary Theatre Review and the book ‘Access All Areas: Live Art and Disability’. He co-edited, with Gianna Bouchard, a new edition of the journal Performance Research ‘On Medicine’. He is a lecturer at Queen Mary’s University of London and a Fellow of Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre.

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