Philip Matesic is an American artist, born on August 15, 1983 and raised in Champaign, Illinois. In 2008, he completed his Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he researched and experimented extensively on social potentials of art, while studying under Dan Peterman and Michael Rakowitz. Participation and collaboration are key aspects to Matesic's art practice and social aesthetic. Depending on the project, these two forms of engagement involve participants in different ways. With participation, it's more active with a public forming a social aesthetic through play, discussion or exchange. With collaboration, it's more direct in the planning and execution of projects, usually with other artists.
Directly after graduating in 2008, Matesic took part in an art residency, in the Schuilenburg district of Amersfoort, Netherlands, called "Neighborhood As Cultural Living Room". He worked closely with the local youth on URBAN MINIGOLF, a participatory art project that took place in public space throughout the district. For reasons of the heart, Matesic officially moved to Zurich in early 2009. Shortly after his arrival, he got involved with Corner College, an independent art space where he became a member of the organizational team and started a weekly, non-academic discussion platform, THEORY TUESDAYS, in late 2009. PRACTICAL FRIDAYS followed in 2012 with an offering of monthly, hands-on workshops from non-experts.
From 2013 to 2015, Matesic collaborated with Swiss artist, Rahel Grunder on the project ACHSENGESCHICTEN. The collaboration was part of the research project "Stadt auf Achse", launched by the Lucerne School of Art and Design, the city of Lucerne, the Zurich University of the Arts and the city of Zurich. The focus of the research was on urban development along two specific streets: the Baselstrasse in Lucerne and the Hohlstrasse in Zurich. At the conclusion of the research project in late 2015, Matesic and Grunder continued working together. They used the stories they gathered with ACHSENGESCHICTEN to develop an urban theater safari titled WAYFARIN' STRANGERS with author Christoph Fellmann and director Manuel Kühne. WAYFARIN' STRANGERS took place along the Baselstrasse in the summer of 2016, with Matesic and Grunder on the production team as well as Matesic acting in the theater safari as a guide.
In 2014 and 2016 Matesic took part in two residencies in Georgia, where he collaborated with Swiss artist, Linda Pfenninger on two community-based projects. The first, THE TRADING THREAD was part of the 2014 Tskaltubo Arts Festival. The project established a connection between two communities (one local and one displaced) through the trading of personal objects. The second, NIKOZI SHADOWS took place in Zemo Nikozi as part of "OFF/LINE: What can art do in Zemo Nikozi?". During this ten-day residency, Matesic and Pfenninger wrote, directed and produced an action film with local residents of Zemo Nikozi. Both projects were supported by the artasfoundation in Zurich, where Matesic has been actively involved since 2014.
Since September 2014, Matesic works part-time as a teaching assistant in the Master of Arts in Fine Arts department at the Zurich University of the Arts.