Image: Last Breath Society (Coughing Coffin), Martin O’Brien, ICA (London) 2021. Photo by zack mennell.
Martin O’Brien is an artist and zombie. He works across performance, writing and video art. His work uses long durational actions, short speculative texts and critical rants, and performance processes in order to explore death and dying, what it means to be born with a life shortening disease, and the philosophical implications of living longer than expected.
He has shown work throughout the UK; Europe; USA; and Canada, and is well known for his solo performances and collaborations with the legendary LA artist and dominatrix Sheree Rose. His most recent works were at Tate Britain in 2020, and the ICA (London) in 2021. He is winner of the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Visual and Performing Arts 2022. He will be writer in residence at Whitechapel Gallery throughout 2023. Martin has cystic fibrosis and all of his work and writing draws upon this experience. In 2018, the book ‘Survival of the Sickest: The Art of Martin O’Brien’ was published by Live Art Development Agency. His work has been featured on BBC radio and Sky Arts television. He is currently senior lecturer in Live Art at Queen Mary University of London.