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ApocalypseMatthew Ritchie

August 21, 2008

In this film, Matthew Ritchie describes his fascination with using post-apocalyptic imagery. Focusing on the aftermath of destruction fabricated within his video works The Iron City (2007) and Raphael (2007), Ritchie describes the relevance of apocalyptic imagery in entertainment. “All of the movies just show the world turning into different versions of the same apocalypse. Everyone get’s really excited about the end of the world,” says the artist. “But imagine a movie that was just touring around the ruins afterward. It’s a totally different feeling—they don’t make movies about that.”

That unrealized movie is best embodied in the artist’s The Iron City, a densely layered audio and visual projection that shifts in response to human presence within the gallery. Through a round aperture reminiscent of the porthole of a ship, or the lens of a camera, the viewer experiences a tunnel-visioned perspective of a post-apocalyptic world.

More information and credits


Producer: Eve Moros Ortega and Nick Ravich. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Judy Karp. Editor: Jenny Chiruco. Artwork Courtesy: Matthew Ritchie and Aranda/Lasch. Thanks: Benjamin Aranda.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Matthew Ritchie

Matthew Ritchie’s artistic mission has been no less ambitious than an attempt to represent the entire universe and the structures of knowledge and belief that we use to understand and visualize it. The artist’s paintings, installations, and narrative threads delineate the universe’s formation as well as the attempts and limits of human consciousness to comprehend its vastness. Although often described as a painter, Ritchie creates works on paper, prints, light-box drawings, floor-to-wall installations, freestanding sculpture, websites, and short stories, which tie his sprawling works together into a narrative structure.

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John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”

Matthew Ritchie discusses the influence of John Milton’s 1667 epic poem Paradise Lost in his 2008 exhibition The Morning Line.

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Matthew Ritchie

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Matthew Ritchie

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