The Sky in Ruins is an essay written by Ricky Varghese, about Cloud Painter, an exhibition by Joshua Vettivelu and Andreas Buchwaldt.
Cloud Painter presents a future, speculative reality, where society is forced to live within a biodome following centuries of state orchestrated natural resources extraction that left the world inhospitable. In this world, artists are forced to assume a more essential, utilitarian role in society and become cloud painters, who are tasked with maintaining the sky of the biodome to ensure comfort and entertainment for Earth’s remaining citizens.
Ricky Varghese is a psychoanalyst and art writer based in Toronto. He writes about sex and death, queer porn and art, and memory and Judaism, not always in that order, and is currently working on a book about suicide and the death drive.
Joshua Vettivelu is an artist working within sculpture, video, and installation. Their work investigates how language and interpersonal relationships build the material world. Recent and upcoming projects explore the tensions that emerge when personal experiences are mined for state-sponsored art production.
Exhibitions venues of note include the Art Gallery of Ontario, the British Film Institute, Eastern Edge in St. John’s Nfld, The Academy of Arts in Prague, the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Archives Gallery, the Niagara Arts Center, the Center for Contemporary Art Glasgow, Nuit Blanche Toronto (and more). Their work is included in multiple private and public collections, including a public installation in St. Michael’s Hospital’s St. Jamestown Clinic. Vettivelu has been invited to speak at Cornell University, University of Toronto, York University, University of British Columbia, the Parliamentary Standing Committee, alongside multiple grassroots community platforms.
Andreas Buchwaldt is an installation artist based in Toronto, currently completing his PhD in Visual Culture at the University of Western Ontario. His doctoral research looks at the depiction of labour protest in popular media and its present day manifestation in virtual spaces.