In Dante Veritas, Vasily Klyukin

In Dante Veritas is a large scale, immersive multimedia exhibition by Russian sculptor Vasily Klyukin. It represents a narrative that recreates the nine circles of hell, and includes over 100 multimedia elements, such as sculpture, installation, digital art, audio and light boxes. The exhibitions includes sculptural works, most of which represent negative human traits such as Anger, Gluttony and Betrayal.

“The most prominent sculptural pieces are the Four Horsemen of the Modern Apocalypse. The artist has translated the traditional Horsemen (plague, war, hunger and death) into a modern day version: Overpopulation, Misinformation, Extermination and Pollution.

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“The immersive exhibition encourages visitors to examine the sculptures with an audio guide narrated in the style of Dante’s poems. The sculptures of human sins also portray the punishment that comes with the sin. For instance, Gluttony is incredibly obese and Temptation has no limbs.

“The exhibition also includes a ‘prison’ room, further embodying the topic of sin. Famous criminals such as Stalin, Pablo Escobar and Bokassa are imprisoned here. The prison has a dungeon room – Betrayal – which represents Hell. Visitors are encouraged to leave notes on the wall, allowing them to name people who have betrayed them, or to write a message of forgiveness.

“The exhibition ends on a positive note. The Heart of Hope is a large sculpture of a heart at the centre of the exhibition, which was also displayed at the Burning Man festival in 2017. It symbolises the ability to stop all the negative traits and sins. Visitors are given a bracelet which transmits a signal to the statue, which then beats in the rhythm of the bracelet wearer’s heartbeat.”    —Elucid Magazine

Alfredo Jaar, “The Divine Comedy” (2019)

“A new tunnel, named Siloam, is an AUD$27M (£15m) underground extension to David Walsh’s privately owned MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart, Tasmania. The complex of chambers, gallery spaces and connecting tunnels of Siloam feature works by Ai Weiwei, Oliver Beer and Christopher Townend but the centrepiece is a new commission by Alfredo Jaar.

Jaar’s immersive installation The Divine Comedy (2019), is a three-room installation based on Dante’s The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso. Visitors enter—ten at a time—into three pavilions interpreting each of the realms of the 14th-century epic poem. They will encounter fire and flood in Inferno; hover between life and death with a film by the US artist Joan Jonas in Purgatorio; and, finally, simply exist in the sensory void of Paradiso.”    –Tim Stone, The Art Newspaper, July 18, 2019

Artist Maruizio Cattelan’s Final Project

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“The time has come: sooner or later it arrives for everyone. It’s not a painful moment and not even traumatic, it’s the natural evolution of a path of spectacular appearances and equally as many escapes, attempts to hiding away and revelations: Maurizio Cattelan is bowing out with one last exhibition. The retrospective All (from November 4th to January 22nd) at the Guggenheim Museum of New York (that Nancy Spector, head curator of the museum, has called “one last hanging”) is his most radical and visionary project. The reverse cone of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture thus transforms into a seventeenth-century transposition of a sort of Dante’s Inferno, crowded by thousands of sinners: the exhibition combines all of Cattelan’s works, suspended from the museum’s skylight in a new, total and extreme project that transforms visitors into lost souls and the tour of the exhibition into a descent into the underworld. It’s also true that the great conflicts between right and wrong, Paradise and Hell have been in the heart of Maurizio’s career.”    –Paola Manfrin, L’Uomo Vogue, November 2011

See also: L’Uomo Vogue’s interview with Maurizo Cattelan.

Learn more about Cattelan’s exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum.

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

Diana Puntar, “Less Than Day, or Night” (2007)

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Less Than Day, Or Night, my recent sculptural installation at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, continues to explore what I call ‘homemade futurism.’ The piece is inspired by the final cantos of Dante’s Inferno in which Dante, led by Virgil, enters the freezing central pit of hell. At the end, as the pair climb their way out, Dante believes he is descending and becomes disoriented as they reach the top. Like many of us, he is fundamentally confused about the orientation of the world. I find it comforting to know that this kind of basic uncertainty has been with us for centuries.” [. . .]    –Diana Puntar, NY Arts Magazine

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

Neocommedia: Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise (2002)

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“An immersive adaptation of Dante’s Divine Comedy exploring the modern deity of Information.”    —iKatun

“iKatun’s Paradise is based on Dante’s Paradise from the Divine Comedy, however, this Paradise is not about perfect morality but about perfect information. iKatun’s Paradise alludes to instant availability and perfect knowledge; a single data point of infinite density; the faultless model of information to which all media systems aspire; the space where entropy does not exist.”    —iKatun