Until the Last Breath is Breathed

21st November 2018 - 08th December 2018
A photo of a bare chested man sitting in front of a table. On the table is a flapjack with one lit candle.

Martin O’Brien with Suhail Ilyas

Video installation runs from 21 November until 8 December and is open Monday - Saturday, 10am - 4.30pm.

Somewhere in an old morgue, a single flame burns in an otherwise darkened room. There is one single heart beating in the space, one set of lungs breathing deeply. The room smells and tastes like death.

'Until the Last Breath is Breathed' is the world premiere of a video installation that documents 30 actions to camera performed on the hour, every hour, for thirty hours in an old abandoned morgue.

Martin O’Brien has a life limiting condition and grew up thinking he would die at 30. These actions were filmed in 2017 during the 30 hours leading up to his 30th birthday. The end did not come and Martin now considers himself as living in the zombie years. This work is an exploration of mortality, survival and sickness. Martin considers what it means to live longer than expected and to embrace death as a way of life.

Audio Description is provided.

Martin will give a performance lecture about his work on 29 November at 5.30pm in St. George's Hall. The talk is free, however booking is required. Audio description and BSL is provided.


Martin O’Brien is an artist 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 a condition which affects and influences all of his work and writing, drawing upon this lived 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. He is currently lecturer in Drama, Theatre and Performance at Queen Mary University of London. He recently surpassed his life expectancy and is enjoying life as a zombie.

This project is supported by the Liverpool City Council Enhancement Funding. 

Age 18+ (recommended)

St George's Pl Liverpool
L1 1JJ
United Kingdom
Telephone: 0151 233 3020
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