Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose Visiting Hours Interview (1994)

© Michel Delsol © Michel Delsol

Franklin Furnace Founding Director Martha Wilson and her partner Vince Bruns interview performance artists Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose. Conducted within the exhibition Visiting Hours at the New Museum, this interview chronicles Flanagan and Rose’s collaborative practice as artists and lovers. Throughout, Flanagan and Rose discuss the sexual politics of art; pain as an art medium; the gaze of receiving and witnessing pain; art as an erotic gesture; and the spiritual in art. These topics are further elaborated upon in the context of art history, placing Flanagan and Rose’s erotic art practice alongside performance artists Ron Athey and Annie Sprinkle.

Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose began their artistic collaboration during the late 1980s in the Los Angeles club and art scenes. Their performance, photography, and video integrate elements of BDSM, which culminated in the exhibition Visiting Hours at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and New Museum of Contemporary Art. After Flanagan died from cystic fibrosis in 1996, Rose continued to make artwork honoring his legacy and their collaboration. Rose made contributions to the documentary

, which premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded a Special Jury Prize. She was commissioned by Japan to produce Boballoon—a 20-foot inflatable statue of Flanagan that was exhibited at Big Space in Tokyo. Rose continues to show her photography at international galleries, including the Coagula in Los Angeles, Tate Modern in Liverpool, and Jeu de Paume in Paris. She has presented multiple performances at Highways Performance Space and Gallery in Santa Monica. Long after his death, Flanagan’s artwork with Rose continues to be a model for artists dealing with illness and death.


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Additional Info

  • Title: Visiting Hours Interview
  • Holdings: video (HIDVL)
  • Duration: 00:51:53
  • Language: English
  • Date: 31 Dec 1994
  • Location: New Museum, New York, New York, USA
  • Type-Format: installation, interview, performance art
  • Credits: Interview with Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose conducted by Martha Wilson and Vince Bruns.