“In Frontier With Church, the artist makes direct reference to the procession encountered by Dante and Matilda at the summit of Mount Purgatory, interpreted in the temporal contexts of proselytism, migration, and trade, on their way to paradise. With Matilda—who clearly prepares Dante for his meeting with Beatrice—Dante witnesses a procession which forms an allegory within the allegory, somewhat like Shakespeare’s play with a play, in which the characters are walking symbols rather than real people. Alexander’s tableau is thus intended to represent the earthly paradise, a borderline space between earth and divine sanctuary: a frontier with attendants, messengers, custodians, and cargo. The tension revolves around human figures rendered with extreme realis, concurring in the creation of the moment before Dante’s meeting with the woman who (allegorically) symbolizes the path to God. All the creatures of the tableau are life-sized and share the real space occupied by the Viewer/s. They have a spectral presence within that space which silently enacts a living history.”
From The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists by Simon Njami.
For more on the South African artist, see Wikipedia.