cover image Bob Flanagan: Supermasochist

Bob Flanagan: Supermasochist

Bob Flanagan. Re/Search Publications, $14.99 (126pp) ISBN 978-0-940642-25-6

Flanagan is a poet and performance artist whose lifelong struggle against cystic fibrosis and whose taste for sado-masochism have led him into artworks that examine the fringes of sexual behavior. By surviving into his 40s, he has already beat the odds against his illness, a triumph he attributes in no small part to his willingness to surrender to the desires of his body: ``I've learned to fight sickness with sickness.'' The book includes six interviews by the editors with Flanagan and one with his partner/lover/dominatrix Sheree Rose, as well as considerable graphic documentation of his performances. In their sententious introduction, Re/Search publishers Juno and Vale extol Flanagan for ``giving us a glimpse of a more tolerant, more responsible and more conscious society where creativity is no longer fettered by censorship, sexist repression and denial of one's past.'' Flanagan himself is often quite funny in discussing the reactions of others to him and to his sex life but most readers will be repelled by the descriptions of such practices as genital piercing and hanging for long periods of time naked in a closet. Not for the squeamish. (Jan.)