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Matthew Ritchie

As we spiral, or skulk, toward the millennium, the sublime, that supreme mass before us, has become information. Confronted by this awe inspiring nexus, Matthew Ritchie shatters the hyperspace, splicing the world—and even more so ourselves—into all its conflicting elements. Like squashed cubes of to-be-recycled car parts, Matthew’s “project”—his paintings, sculptures, drawings and website—celebrates how complex it really is: myth, science, philosophy, history … all appear in Matthew’s work. A “thing” with six fingers, a self-aborted child, scientific formulae, fields of red and blue, arms, legs reaching out…. It’s impossible to catalogue Matthew’s work, other than to say it is a story, and a game. On the gallery wall of his most recent show read the title: “Seven earths. Seven characters. Forty-nine ways to die. There’s only one way out. The Hard Way.” I could imagine sitting on the floor, one of his Sintra sculptures glowing like a campfire, listening to Matthew spin his yarn. But the lesson—if there is one—is to decide the outcome for yourself. I’m continually amazed—every time we talk, by how much data he collects; every time I look at his work, by how much fun it is to figure out.

Jenifer Berman So what’s the historic background of this project? Let’s start with the character Mulciber, the builder...

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