Boston Art Commission

Remanence: Salt and Light

Artist: Matthew Ritchie

Neighborhood: Dewey Square



Time Frame: Monday, September 16, 2013 - Monday, December 1, 2014


A 70' x 70' painted mural by Matthew Ritchie will cover the existing mural on the Dewey Square Air Intake Structure. 

The artist, from New York, will have an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston next year from April 2014 - February 2015 and has designed an accompanying public mural for the Dewey Square AIS to be installed in September 2013 in advance of the exhibition. 

The title of the piece is Remanence: Salt and Light, diagrams turn into spheres rising from the sea, turn back into atoms, that then, in turn, become pure ideas.  Remanence is a cross between memory, remnant and resonance. The Parable of Salt and Light, from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:13-16) was cited by John Winthrop, first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony on the deck of the Arabella, as well as by both Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. The famous comparison of wasted salt and the city on a hill has become a remanence of an idea. Remanence (or remanent magnetization) is technically the magnetization left behind in a ferromagnetic material (such as iron) after an external magnetic field is removed.
The mural project also supports a unique musical and informational space, with music by Bryce Dessner and a short film by Matthew Ritchie, accessible by all wireless devices. Accompanying this mural is a series of scaling works; a drawing, a painting, a performance, an illuminated window, a wall drawing, a film and a song cycle by Matthew Ritchie to be shown at the ICA Boston over the next year. A new kind of shared space emerges, built from our engagement with images and ideas, real and implied information, formalized physical space and movement. Passersby can dive as deeply as they want into this body of work, but no matter how many times they walk through the garden, no matter how many times they listen to the music, there will always be an aspect they cannot see, a new story emerging.  
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