Matthew McGaughey

Third-Year MFA Candidate
Black and white headshot of a man with shaggy hair




Matthew McGaughey’s work explores how cultural products and lived experiences conspire to perpetuate hidden hegemonic social structures. For example, how is daily interaction dictated by media tropes and conventions? How do fictional commodities lead to cultural myths which become our accepted ways of relating to each other and the world? Through bifurcation and distancing, Matthew engineers unsettling situations in which normative cultural images and scenarios reveal themselves as fabrications. These fabrications have evolved into templates, enforcing rigid codes of everyday performativity. His work strives to expose ways in which even our most intimate emotional interactions are deeply informed by scripted motifs.

Matthew uses the term “remix” to define his process. Sounds, objects, and bodies are disjoined and removed from themselves. He synthesizes these dissembled elements into uncanny and confusing narratives. The resultant outcomes can be challenging, comical, abject, and even threatening. Objects fail to function as intended. The voice, displaced and manipulated, undermines normative communication. Complex and contradictory relationships emerge. Fundamentally, these remixes provoke questions about our understanding of identity, perception, and desire.

Matthew McGaughey work image