“The spectator is invited to enter, to move through this bright, white virginal structure and to slowly discover that on the surface of the sheets, printed in white on white, there are lines taken from the Cantos that make up Dante’s Paradiso. The ensemble of the elements is illuminated by a soft, pure light that serves as a guide: the transformation that the artist wishes to bring about does not focus on the path followed by Dante, but rather on the perennial and memorable presence of Beatrice, who according to the artist embodies the very sense of Dante’s Paradiso. The installation thus becomes a path on which the onlooker is enshrouded in words and light. A place where—just like in the Comedy itself—it is still possible to enter and be illuminated by the candour and potency of the very essence of love.”
From The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists by Simon Njami.
See also the images in Griot magazine, which describes the piece as it was presented in Njami’s I is An Other / Be the Other exhibit at the Galleria Nazionale di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GNAM) in Rome: “Maurice Prefura’s The Silent Way stages La Divina Commedia, a sort of labyrinth made of white floating empty pages that form its walls and hold visitors prisoners. Crossing this labyrinth, however, one realizes that there are visible inscriptions on the pages which can only be seen from certain angles, ‘as if in a rite of initiation.’ Once out of the labyrinth, one meets Beatrice.” –Johanne Affricot, “Contemporary Art and Africa in Rome,” Griot (March 20, 2018)