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 potentialities-in 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 US 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 received a Creative Capital award in 2008, a Franklin Furnace Fund award in 2013, two residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, and several competitive grants through the City University of New York Research Fund. His work has been added to the collections of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art and the Maryland Institute College of Art.