Martin O’Brien & guests
Wellcome Collection (The Williams Lounge)
Sun 7 April : 14.00 - 15.30
Booking essential - from 22 March

This discussion event questions if there is an increase in artists identifying closely, and leading with, their own histories of trauma and/or painful autobiography. To what extent is this true, and if true, what may have instigated this?

As festivals, live platforms and opportunities begin to focus on the support of these current questions and seeking out artists' trauma, we pose the question now: what is the tense line between raising visibility and exploitation. Additionally, another consideration: Is there such a thing as competitive trauma?

This is a public discussion hosted and facilitated by performance artist and scholar Martin O'Brien, with contributions from artists Mele Broomes and Amelia Stubberfield, who are presenting work in the Care & Destruction programme

Martin O’Brien is an artist, theorist and zombie. His performance and video art uses physical endurance, long durations, and pain based practices in order to examine what it means to be born with a life shortening disease. Martin has cystic fibrosis and all of his work and writing draws upon this experience. He has developed a cult following and is best known for his long durational solo performances and his collaborations with legendary body artist Sheree Rose.

He has performed throughout the UK, Europe, USA, and Canada. In 2018, the book Survival of the Sickest: The Art of Martin O’Brien was published by Live Art Development Agency. He was artist in residence at ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, LA. Martin has published on illness, pain, death and endurance in art and is currently a lecturer in Drama, theatre and Performance at Queen Mary University of London. He recently surpassed his life expectancy and is enjoying life as a zombie9.

Connect on social media @TSOTFringe #CompetitiveTrauma #AwardingPain