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San Francisco

Basement Gallery Oakland

Exhibition Detail
Curated by: Anja Ulfelt
1027 3rd Street
Oakland, CA 94607

January 15th, 2010 - February 3rd, 2010
January 15th, 2010 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
© Chris Ritson 2009
East Bay
Saturdays from 1 - 5 pm and weekdays by appointment


Opening January 15th
1027 3rd Street

D∃C∀D∃NT, an exhibition of new works by Chris Ritson, opens at the Basement Gallery on Friday,
January 8th. Currated by Anja Ulfeldt, this marks the fourth show since the galleries inception in

Decadence commonly refers to characteristics of overindulgence, decline or decay, as associated
with historical epochs, political systems or character traits. Specifically referencing J.K.
Huysmans’ novel Á rebours (Against Nature), Chris Ritson explores the contemporary relevance
of this descriptive marker. Published in 1884, the French novel is recognized as the most iconic
example of literature associated with the “decadent” movement. It is a novel in which very little
happens; its narrative concentrates almost entirely on its principal character, and is mostly a
catalogue of the tastes and inner life of an eccentric, reclusive aesthete and antihero.

For the exhibit, Chris Ritson will be creating/growing an installation from organic refuse and
crystal that appropriates the symbolic imagery found in Huysmans’ Against Nature. The
installation will serve as stage sets for video that will be created on site, relying on both growth
and decay of organic crystal sculptures to animate a revisited account of the decadent narrative.

Chris Ritson is a multidisciplinary artist, creating installations, objects and images as vehicles for
video and documentation work. He uses materials that range from self-replicating animals and
crystals to images of human bodies in discarded magazines and advertisements. Manifested as
objects, Chris Ritson’s pieces are like scientific specimens that are cataloged and documented
during the peak of their lives. Constructed from base materials and the detritus of the city, forest
or beach, these works are necessarily ephemeral.

The Basement Gallery was started to facilitate all forms of creative expression, with primary
emphasis on cutting edge, authentic works that concentrate on expanding the perceived limits of
creativity. Our mission is to showcase art of all formats based on the merits of its originality and
creative authenticity. We especially seek experiential, collaborative, or site specific works.



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