Marius Ritiu, Apocalypse
Apocalypse = Revelation & Disclosure, from the Greek word Apokalyptein, meaning " uncover, disclose, reveal " from Apo, meaning " off, away from " + Kalyptein, meaning " to cover, conceal ".
In 2019, Ritiu began the cycle entitled "Sisyphus" by creating rocklike copper sculptures that he dubbed “meteorites” and examining the way they can be contextualized in different environments. The project has reached its 4th episode: “The Apocalypse (Sisyphus part IV).” The previous segments are: "Highway to the Moon (Sisyphus part III)," "Rock 'n Roll (Sisyphus part II)," and "Milky Way (Sisyphus part I)."
Ritiu aimed to embed in the project the absurdity of human’s repetitive search for meaning, and with each episode, he is relocating boulders – his “meteorites” – around the world, from Transylvania to Antwerp, from Brooklyn to Queens, from Queens to Manhattan. Through these self-made “meteorites” that either got stuck inside a gallery space, or crashed onto a shopping cart in a park, or “landed” between the wall of a house and a fence, he is emphasizing the fragility of our existence. The work is an invitation to humbleness. It intends to be a reminder that each of us, as an individual, is here on Earth for a brief moment in time, that humanity has existed for only 300,000 years (which is nothing compared to the estimated to be 4.5 billion-year-life of Earth, “our” planet), that our existence is insignificant when compared to the forces of nature, and that natural disasters are not discriminating when it comes to nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and social status. If a meteor the size of the work presented at Slag Gallery collided with Manhattan, it would turn the island into ash. Now, this outlook invites radical revisionism.
Produced by hand in Antwerp.
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Words from Marius:
My practice questions concepts such as nationhood, borders and nationalism, reflecting on global responsibility, collective consciousness, and citizenship, and suggesting the potential for immensely varied human experiences to unite. Instead of being celebrated, our differences are made into symbols and ideologies meant to divide; they are turned into borders. The perspective of those who’ve crossed a few is worth reflecting on and from, but it is the astronaut who is the true skeptic: no eye that looks ‘down’ on Earth from space can see such perverse dividing lines.
I consider myself not only a sculptor but also a storyteller, one who wishes to create somewhat open-ended tales, later finalized in the mind of the viewer.