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Franko B: The Body is (not) Here

Curated exhibition from the Franko B Archive for University of Bristol Theatre Collection, funded by the Wellcome Collection.


The Body is (not) Here explores the archive of visual artist, curator and teacher Franko B through representations of the human body, which loom large throughout the collection.

Coming to recognition during the rise of performance and live art in the 1990s, Franko’s deeply autobiographical work presents the body as both a site and a material.  His body is visible throughout the exhibition via documentation of performances and exhibitions, captured in personal photographs, described in vivid detail within publicity material and press cuttings, or hinted at by its absence through objects, traces and the residue of performances.

Interweaving personal stories and universal themes – of pain, suffering, protest, life and love – The Body is (not) Here provides audiences with multiple encounters with Franko’s body and the body of his archive, which like Franko’s work, challenge the way we see, feel and experience the world around us; asking us to consider ‘what it is to be human’.  

Images: (top) Franko B preparing for performance of 'Oh Lover Boy', Cork (2008)Image credit: Hugo Glendinning (bottom) Detail from Franko B's handwritten notes for lecture presented at Body- Space: Architecture and the Contemporary Body symposium at the University of Sheffield, 2003.

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