Martin O’Brien - Whitechapel Gallery

zack worked with Martin to assist and dramaturg new live works during his year as writer-in-residence at Whitechapel Gallery. Spending months in the studio together over the year to formulate new live work that built upon Martin’s established works and finding new avenues of actions, materials, and thinking through which his practice could mutate. This working mode relied upon zack and Martin’s extensive pre-existing collaborative work, using shared vocabulary and thinking in the process, and often sharing breath and flesh during performance. zack’s friendship with and mentorship from Martin are integral influences and inspirations for their solo work and practice.

click to enlarge. Top photos by Fenia Kotsopoulou. Bottom photos by Marco Berardi.

The grim reaper stood there, finally I saw him. His skeletal form sparkled in the moonlight and nothing else existed. This was the deal. He reached out and wrapped his cold, bone hand around my skull. I was lost in the darkness of his cape. He drew me near and kissed me. He tasted like death, and I loved it.

Overture For The End
(An Ashen Place)

Bodies crawl through soot covered landscapes. A ghastly figure looms, unearthly sounds emanating from her mouth. A funeral procession for the living marches by, trumpets sounding, and the mourners weep but they don’t know why. A group of skeletal forms sit at a dining table as if awaiting a feast.

A scratchy sound of white noise emanating from a small radio fills the dark room. A faint voice comes through. It sounds like nothing from this world, as if death itself was speaking.

Somewhere else, sickly patients lay in hospital beds in hell. They don’t understand why they are still sick. They listen to the hospital radio, but it doesn’t play their favourite songs. Instead, they listen to the sounds of a life once lived.