Fifteen years and one day after Andy Warhol’s queer muse, Fred Herko took a flying grand jete from the fifth floor of a New York apartment building, in what can only be described as the ultimate last dance; Matthew van Roden was born. Raised by a working class family who knew not the strange creature who had landed with a similar splat into their lives, the child was taught the ways of a terrifying and charismatic God. The young Matthew strove to transform their very nature into the image of the Divine, a quest that lingers in their blood to this day, swilling with gin and glitter and emanating a stench that is simultaneously repugnant and irresistible. Something you can’t hate, but you can’t love; something in-between.
Matthew van Roden is an artist of the in-between. Their research involves interrogating the space between apparent binaries as locations for queer creative praxis. Material/discursive; inside/outside; male/female; analogue/digital: van Roden explores the gaps and slippages between these seemingly oppositional points. Their work is made manifest in the overlap of boundaries; on ambiguous surfaces and thresholds of meaning.
Working predominantly with digital video and wax, van Roden’s work often appears as the conjunction of a constructed material surface and a digital projection. Shapes and text rendered in coloured wax are projected into/onto with monochromatic digital video. The wax colours the projection, transforming the surface according to its texture and density in a moving feast of matte and polish. Rather than multimedia, their work is ‘intra-media’; appearing ephemerally in the ongoing enmeshment of digital and physical forms.
Image: Matthew van Roden, I AM A TEXT, installation view. Photo: Fiona Morrison
I acknowledge The Larrakia People who are the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of this land and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Sovereignty of Country was never ceded.