Abstract

This article reflects upon Martin O’Brien’s 2015 commission Taste of Flesh/Bite Me I’m Yours as part of Trust Me, I’m an Artist, a Creative Europe-funded project. O’Brien discusses the ethics of witnessing the “sick body” in performance and considers the concept of disease as a mode of spectatorship—a concept employed in order to think through the politics of witnessing difficult performance work by artists with illnesses. The artist particularly reflects upon the nature of participation during his performance, which involved explicit interaction with his body as “sick.” O’Brien concludes by considering the ways in which the nature of this interaction allows for the striving toward agency over one’s own flesh.

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