(para)site: a blockage  2023

click to enlarge. Photography by Stephanie Chung.

zack was invited to perform a two-and-a-half-hour site-responsive work by curators Stephanie Chung & Priscilla Lo as part of their three-day programme at Chisenhale Studios supported by Goldsmith’s University.

There's a faulty dam in my bladder, trying to stop the urea-tainted waters inside me from mixing with the tainted waters and vapours outside me, but semi-regularly it leaks or gives way altogether. My mind is no different.

I step into this place so close to sites-of-trauma it can feel like drowning in air. I stretch my body along the towpath and let the cyclists, joggers, walkers, and dogs leave their treads in my puffy, super-absorbant plastic flesh. No different from the shopping trolleys, tires, bicycles, bottles and pipes, the silt of the canal bed calls out to me, sludgy and fluffy.

(para)site: perturbing the convalescent 2023
As seagulls swoop overhead, a lumpy figure of white walks out of the surf. It scatters across the concrete official documents and discarded waste to map out its journey here, one of escape.

zack performed at the opening of Cerebellum: Excappare in St Andrews Mews in Hastings as part of Coastal Currents. This gave them the opportunity to mingle their explorations of the Thames with the coast. Exploring the topic of convalescent homes often used by Victorian asylums, this short performance sought to corrupt those ideals, to pervert the idealised passivity of rest and sea air for recovery in the same way the perturbing force of the moon creates the tides.

click to enlarge. Photography by Alex Peacock.

(para)site: a discharge of cultural sewage 2022

(para)site: a discharge of cultural sewage performance documentation.
Videography & editing by Studio MaBa.
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(para)site: a discharge of cultural sewage performance documentation.
Photography by Milo Robinson for Thames Festival Trust.

(para)site is an ongoing, multi-stranded artistic project that reflects on class, disability, queerness & ecology through the lens of zack’s experience. The works emerge through psychogeographic explorations of sites of industrial, working-class history, where they scavenge for materials and undertake strange performative actions.

(para)site was commissioned as part of Tide Changers, a development programme for early career artists by The Thames Festival Trust and presented as part of Totally Thames 2022. VSSL Studio and Deptford X have supported the project.
click to enlarge.
(para)site: an exhibition of cultural sewage.
Photography by Milo Robinson for Thames Festival Trust.

(para)site collaborative video work by Baiba Sprance & zack mennell.
Videography, sound & editing by Studio MaBa.

Generative collages were created during the opening hours of the (para)site installation. Made up of 35mm photos of the Thames foreshore, personal archive photos and cut excerpts from DWP & NHS letters. Hand-stitched with cotton thread on recycled papers.

click to enlarge.
Digital scans by zack mennell.

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Digital scans of 35mm analogue photography by zack mennell.

Exploring and photographing the foreshore environment has been a significant aspect of zack’s research. A selection of photographic prints was on display in the installation in 2022. zack continues to photograph this environment generating more photos for display, collage and to use for prints and postcards to sell.

(para)site: taking the piss  2022
Preparatory works and performances of work in progress and material exploration were performed publically at Live Art Club, Runt of the Litter, and hARTslane Gravel throughout early 2022.
click to enlarge.
Photography by Queer Garden for Live Art Club London.