There's No Place: Transfeminism and the Legacy of Oz
Date: Saturday, June 27th
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn NY
Gay Pride Weekend, Morbid Anatomy Style! Performance and video artist Tara Mateik will share work from his ongoing project, There's No Place, which intervenes in the cultural legacy of L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz. Arguably the most formative and enduring American fairy tale, Oz, in its literary and cinematic guises, has a particularly powerful draw for migrants, outsiders, and the disempowered. There's No Place teases out the queer and transfeminist yearnings core to the history of Oz, giving voice to its utopian, and at times contradictory, visions of home. From the transformation of the little boy Tip into Princess Ozma in Baum's The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904), to his early short films The Fairylogues and Radio-Plays(1908), we can trace themes of liberation and self-creation through to MGM's The Wizard of Oz and Motown/Universal's The Wiz (1978). There's No Place features a broad cast of characters and their channelers, including L. Frank Baum, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Judy Garland, Victor Fleming, Jerry Maren (the Lollipop Guild Munchkin), Sidney Lumet, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and The Tin Man.
In his videos, performances, and installations, Tara Mateik creates critical reenactments that underscore moments of collective transfeminism across historical and geographic locations. His projects revisit key moments in pop culture where sexual, social, and economic power structures are in flux; these reenactments, then, are not passive recreations of the past, but political interventions into our understanding of history. Specifically, Mateik works with queer iconography to explore the ways in which history is written on, and by, actual bodies. Performing with other gender nonconforming bodies, his work is intended to disrupt expectations, to present the imaginable as real, and to generate new political potentialitiesin essence, to pervert the audiovisual archive.
Mateik's work is distributed to universities and cultural institutions by the Video Data Bank, and has been exhibited at various U.S. and international venues (MOMA PS1, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Dixon Place, The Kitchen, Participant Inc., Reena Spaulings, Aurora Pictures [Houston], and the Oberhausen Short Film Festival [Germany]). He teaches in the Media Culture Department at the College of Staten Island, CUNY.
Morbid Anatomy Museum (View)
424 A Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215