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

Fiona Hall’s Divine Comedy Polaroids (1988)

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Artist : Fiona Hall (Australia, b.1953)
Title : Inferno, canto V: The circle of the lustful (1988)
Medium Description: Polaroid photograph

“This photograph from the late 1980s is from a series of twelve Polaroid photographs relating directly to Dante’s Divine Comedy. Each work is a carefully constructed scene illustrating a particular canto. Technically the artist has made the most of the cumbersome 20 x 40 inch Polaroid camera, using it to render exquisite detail and to capture subtle colour. She cuts and moulds aluminium soft-drink cans to form menacing vegetation, human figures, creatures from beyond the grave, on the journey through Hell and Purgatory to Paradise. Hall photographs them amongst found objects set against backgrounds which she has painted.” —Art Gallery of New South Wales website

View the whole collection of photographs at the Art Galley of New South Wales site.

SAWTOOTH Dancers’ Ombra

Dance company SAWTOOTH performs a Dante-inspired piece, Ombra, at Dixon Place in Chelsea, NY, on July 24, 2014.

SAWTOOTH Dancers“Inspired by Dante’s Paradiso and Plato’s Cave, Ombra is a multimedia dance performance embedded within a dance party. Drawing in part from a hypnotic, Butoh-inspired physicality, the dance performance emerges as episodic dreamscapes within a clubbing experience and a live cabaret. Sound artist Michael Feld orchestrates an eclectic sound score that moves between live percussion, electronic sound art, and 90s dance hits.

“Ombra asserts that liberation is created, not revealed. With humor, Ombra (Italian for ‘shadow’) is a piece that hopes to offer a re-evaluation of the dark, and it seeks to relocate the site of true human ascendance within the shadows and the shadows we make.”    —Dixon Place

To read about SAWTOOTH, click here.

To read about Dixon Place, click here.

Guy Raffa, “Danteworlds” (2007)

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guy-raffa-danteworlds-2007-2009“It’s not a video game and it’s not CliffsNotes–Danteworlds is ‘an integrated multimedia journey’ through Dante’s Divine Comedy. Situated somewhere in cyberspace between EverQuest and Solitaire, it’s a terrific way to lose a month’s worth of lunchtime in a cubicle. Most literary texts don’t lend themselves to the ‘integrated multimedia’ approach, which often just whisks readers off the page into biographical or literary analysis land and strands them there. But, in the case of The Divine Comedy, and perhaps other epic poetry–the Odyssey comes to mind–the approach is a perfect marriage of medium and message, launching the reader right into the allegorical action, heightening rather than dulling appreciation and comprehension.” [. . .]    –Vicky Raab, The New Yorker, January 9, 2009