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Indepth Arts News:

"Matthew Ritchie: The Iron City"
2007-06-30 until 2007-09-30
Saint Louis Art Museum
St. Louis, MO, USA

The Saint Louis Art Museum announces the June 29 opening of "The Iron City", the tenth installation in the Museum's New Media Series. Matthew Ritchie breaks new ground with "The Iron City", a densely layered, viewer-activated digital animation that premieres at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Through a round aperture that evokes 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 possible scenarios responsible for the conditions rendered in the film.

In addition to the narrator's voice, The Iron City includes recordings of the earth's magnetic field described by Ritchie as "the earth's voice," a piece of music entitled "The City Didn't Sleep" by the defunct Polish group Miasto Nie Spalo and an anonymously recorded spiritual version of "Ezekiel Saw a Wheel." With this combination of sound and image, Ritchie notes, "The idea is to confront and perhaps even transcend the rhetoric of fear that has recently come to dominate all discussions of the future."

Ritchie (British, born 1964), studied at Boston University before completing a BFA at Camberwell School of Art in London. He has participated in exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; the White Cube gallery in London; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Ritchie's artwork can be found in major public collections including those at the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Ritchie is represented by Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. His work was also featured in the exhibition Remote Viewing (Invented Worlds in Recent Painting and Drawing) last summer at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Curated by Robin Clark, associate curator of contemporary art, "The Iron City" will be on view in Gallery 301 through September 30, 2007.

The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the nation's leading comprehensive art museums with collections that include works of art of exceptional quality from virtually every culture and time period. Areas of notable depth include Oceanic art, pre-Columbian art, ancient Chinese bronzes and European and American art of the late 19th and 20th centuries, with particular strengths in 20th-century German art. The Museum offers a full range of exhibitions and educational programming generated independently and in collaboration with local, national, and international partners.

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