I create performances about bodies: politicized bodies, marginalized bodies, dancing and singing bodies, happy bodies, sick bodies and bodies that need a little extra love. After being sick as a young adult, I became fascinated with unique bodily experience and how it is conceived, discussed and witnessed by others, leading me directly into my current performance practice. While the work takes many different forms — installation, stage shows, cabaret, interactive performance and publications — each project is keenly interested in how you (the audience) relate both to me and to others. To do this, I combine my intimate stories with grander public narratives (about illness, technology, nationalism, economy, sexuality and more) in an attempt to show that we are all in this together. The work playfully inspires audiences to consider the world around them with renewed vigor, generosity, reflection and an insatiable desire to engage with others.
“Brian Lobel is many things: he is a prolific maker, creating more new works per annum than most; he is an itinerant artist, moving between staged performances, public interventions, one to one encounters and performance installations with a fluidity that is the envy of many; he is a fearless practitioner, exploring new territories and revealing himself in uncompromising ways; he is an astute and wise thinker and writer, contributing to public discourse and scholarly research in exceptional ways; and he is a generous and enthusiastic collaborator, supporting other artists and colleagues in instrumental ways.
Brian Lobel is a US transplant to the UK. During the Second World War American GIs were frequently described as ‘overpaid, oversexed and over here’. Brian Lobel is probably not overpaid. I do very much hope that he is oversexed. Most importantly I am absolutely delighted that he is definitely over here.”
Lois Keidan, Director, Live Art Development Agency, London
More About My Work
I’ve been making performances for the past ten years, and have brought my projects to a range of venues and contexts including medical schools, cabarets, museums, forests, galleries and marketplaces. Some of the cities and venues I’ve performed in include London (Sadler’s Wells, Duckie, Victoria & Albert Museum, Barbican), Edinburgh (Forest Fringe, Science Festival), New York City (Galapagos, South Street Seaport, The Tank, 95th Street Y), Paris (Maison des Arts de Creteil), Chicago (Victory Gardens, Bailiwick, Live Bait) Kuopio, Finland (ANTI Festival), Yokohama (TPAM at Bank Art), Bangkok (Scala Cinema) and beyond. I love travelling and bringing my solo projects to different contexts.
My project have been funded, commissioned or otherwise supported by some great organisations including Wellcome Trust, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, British Council, motiroti, LMCC and Arts Council England. You can find out more about support for specific projects on the Projects pages.
I have a number of publications including my collection of plays BALL & Other Funny Stories (Oberon Books, 2012 + 2015), Purge (Oberon Books, 2016) and documentation of performance, CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER (Live Art Development Agency, 2012).
I work as a Reader in Theatre at University of Chichester and have contributed to academic articles in Contemporary Theatre Review, PAJ, Performance Research and Performing Ethos amongst others. I give workshops quite regularly, sometimes in association with a performance and sometimes just on their own. You can find more details of these on my Teaching page. I also am a Core Artist with Forest Fringe and an Associate Artist with Clod Ensemble’s Performing Medicine Programme.
While I generally do not like talking about myself so extensively, I hope you find all this info useful. If you would like any more info please do get in touch.
Below is a collection of photos that don't quite 'fit' into a project... some are from creatively working the door at clubs, some from creatively serving drinks... one is me playing basketball against Dave Chapelle. Just so anyone new could get more of an idea of what the world of Blobelwarming is like.