Matthew Ritchie’s The Iron City at St. Louis Art Museum

Matthew Ritchie, still from <i>The Iron City</i>, 2007; © Matthew Ritchie; Courtesy the artist and Andrea Rosen Gallery Matthew Ritchie, still from <i>The Iron City</i>, 2007; © Matthew Ritchie; Courtesy the artist and Andrea Rosen Gallery

Season Three featured artist Matthew Ritchie breaks new ground this summer with The Iron City, a viewer-activated installation that debuts in the St. Louis Art Museum’s New Media Series. The work is characterized by densely layered audio and visual information that shifts in response to human presence in the gallery.

Through a round aperture evoking the porthole of a ship or the lens of a camera, the viewer experiences a post-apocalyptic environment awash in ocean waves and sepia tones. Collapsing bridges and decaying piers are glimpsed from below. A lulling narrative accompanies the imagery and alludes to scenarios that may have caused the conditions rendered in the film, including the possibility that “the renunciation of gravity converted back, up, and through pressure into a hurricane of dreadful and sublime desire.”

The Iron City is on view from June 29 – September 30, 2007. For more information, click here.

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Art21 Director of Special Projects

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