LADA Screens - Martin O’Brien

The Unwell

Martin O’Brien

Online from 26 February

Martin’s very own version of a zombie film was commissioned in 2015 by City Arcadia and made in collaboration with Suhail Ilyas. ‘The Unwell’ takes us into an apocalyptic landscape inhabited only by strange, coughing bodies, and is part of Martin’s ongoing exploration of the figure of the zombie as a metaphor for the sick body.

“This used to be the most optimistic city in the world. Now it’s full of darkness illuminated by the fading street lamps….. This city used to be our future but now the future belongs to the unwell”.

This film is being screened to coincide with the launch of the LADA publication ‘Survival of the Sickest, the art of Martin O’Brien’. This is the first book bringing together writing and documentation on Martin O’Brien and marks ten years of his work. It includes photographs and essays by philosophers, performance scholars and art historians including Alphonso Lingus and Amelia Jones.


Martin O’Brien is best known for his long durational solo performances and collaborations with the pioneering body artists Sheree Rose. His work draws upon his experience of suffering from cystic fibrosis. His performance and video art is concerned with physical endurance, disgust long durations and pain base practices in order to address a politics of the sick, queer body and examine what it means to be born with a life threatening disease, politically and philosophically.

About LADA Screens

LADA Screens is a series of free, online screenings of seminal performance documentation, works to camera, short films/video and archival footage. It is part of Live Online, LADA’s dedicated space where you can watch short videos and films drawn from LADA’s Study Room or generated through our programmes and initiatives.

Each screening will be available to view for a limited time only, and will be launched with a live event at our space in Bethnal Green, London. Online art magazine, thisistomorrow will also feature the films on their website for the duration of the screenings.

LADA Screens is curated by the Live Art Development Agency (LADA). LADA is a ‘Centre for Live Art’: a knowledge centre, a production centre for programmes and publications, a research centre setting artists and ideas in motion, and an online centre for digital experimentation, representation and dissemination.

For more information about LADA Screens please contact Alex Eisenberg.

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