Martha Wilson (born 1947 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American feminist performance artist and the founding director of Franklin Furnace Archive art organization. Over the past four decades she has developed and “created innovative photographic and video works that explore her female subjectivity through role-playing, costume transformation, and ‘invasions’ of other peoples personas”. She is a recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, and an Obie Award and a Bessie Award for commitment to artists’ freedom of expression. She is represented by P•P•O•W gallery in New York City.
In the early 1970s while studying in Halifax in Nova Scotia, she began to make videos and photo/text-based performances. When she moved to New York City in 1974 she continued to develop and explore her photo/text and video performances. From this and other works during her career she gained attention within the US for her provocative characters, costumes, works and performances. In 1976 she founded and became director of the Franklin Furnace Archive, which is an artist-run space that focuses on the exploration and promotion of artists books, installation art, video and performance art. Due to their content of such works they challenge the established normality of performance, art work and books. Other aspects addressed through the publicizing of the archive are the roles artists play within visual arts organisations, and the expectations around what is acceptable in the art.