M. Mendez makes videos and performances that use humor, narrative, and characters with aberrant bodies to navigate identity, social and geographical borders, and history. Ze is interested in visual elements of the odd or monstrous and the physical embodiment of social conditions and the psychological. These elements offer disruptions to the norm with undertones of the utopian and imaginary. Latex, fabric, and plastic, are used to construct costumes or prostheses that augment the body, employing tropes of horror and science fiction films. Banal and mundane worlds are mirrored with beings that are visually discordant with the everyday. The monstrous and abject become surrogates for “the other” –bodies that are not fully documented or understood, are not recognized socially and legally, and/or operate outside of language. Through these narratives, the monstrous becomes a way to grapple with trauma and oppression, finding possibility in the unknown and strange.
M. Mendez is from Texas and has never seen a chupacabra but hopes to one day. Ze is currently based in New York City.