Monster Children – The Gates of Hell

monster-children-the-gates-of-hell

Photo by Kealan Shilling

Rumour has it, this entrance leads to seven layers of interconnecting tunnels (the seven layers of hell) and that somewhere within them, is a room where you come face to face with Lucifer himself.

The ‘Gates of Hell,’ is a series of water runoffs and underground tunnels located in Clifton, about an hour outside of downtown Manhattan.

“We passed several dry, smaller openings and eventually we came to a larger room with three tunnels, one of which smells a bit and is marked comedically, ‘…not the gate to hell…'”    — Kealan Shilling, Monster Children, May 25, 2016

“Internal Inferno,” Issue Three of Teeth Magazine (UK)

Teeth-Magazine-Internal-Inferno-Covers

“These awe-inspiring photographers, writers, stylists, artists, musicians and models manifest an electric, celestial world that uncovers today’s limitless counterculture with forthright and subversive depictions of sex, style, anatomy, nature, religion, and contemporary connections. Each uninhibited story in this issue takes you on an unconventional, intercontinental journey that will tease you, please you and possibly leave you searching for water in a desperate bid to quench the flames.” — Teeth Magazine

Weegee : King of the Nighttime Streets


Weegee (Ascher Fellig, 1899-1968), a New York City photographer, “was the Dante of New York’s nighttime demimonde. His photos, of swells and speakeasies, crime and crowds, or perps and play, are a singular record of New York City in the 1930s and ’40s.”    -David Gonzalez, The New York Times, September 28, 2017

Fiona Hall’s Divine Comedy Polaroids (1988)

Inferno-V-Lustful-Fiona-Hall-Polaroid-Photograph

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.

“EverAfter” Photographs by Claudia Rogge (2011)

everafter-photographs-by-claudia-rogge-2011“…Le opere in esposizione sono liberamente ispirate alla Divina Commedia di Dante Alighieri, presentano i segni della pittura rinascimentale e manierista o i tableaux vivants messi in scena da Pier Paolo Pasolini in alcuni suoi lavori. L’Inferno, il Purgatorio e il Paradiso sono l’elemento di riferimento per l’elaborazione di domande sul confine ancestralmente labile tra bene e male; vizi e passioni sono le cifre di un sentire umano in continuo cammino verso direzioni confliggenti ed interdipendenti. La nudita’ e il bell’aspetto dei soggetti raffigurati rappresentano una sorta di perfezione terrena formale, limitata e necessariamente proiettata verso una dimensione diversa, piu’ completa, mentale e interiore; la folla alza le braccia al cielo per osannare, supplicare o maledire, a seconda del girone.” [. . .]    —La Citta’ di Salerno, October 17, 2011

See Also: Galleria Verrengia, October 21 – December 3, 2011, Salerno, Italy.

Contributed by Davida Gavioli

Yola Monakhov, “Photography After Dante” (2010)

yola-monakhov-photography-after-dante-2010

“For this body of work, Monakhov used Dante’s Divine Comedy as a source and framework for creating photographs in contemporary Italy. Her approach intended to bring together a canonical text and contemporary life, using the poem to investigate conventions of the photographic medium.
Monakhov’s method involved establishing an active relationship with her Italian subjects, who were well versed in their native Dante. She noted their reactions to moments in the poem, and linked these with her own reading and photographic vision. Photographing in Italy, she discovered that when she explained her project to her subjects, they not only intuitively grasped her premise, they also reacted to and enacted it. One subject, Paola, implored the photographer: ‘Please do not put me in the Inferno,’ as though this first stage of the pilgrim’s journey were a real place, rather than a poet’s construct.
Monakhov does not stage illustrations. Rather, she uses photography to start and record a very real conversation about Dante with the people who read him and for whom the poem is still very much alive. She uses a range of approaches, from formal portrait sessions to verite’ photography. Just as the text draws on numerous literary registers to evoke the atmosphere and context relevant for each occasion, Monakhov deploys a variety of photographic methods. She uses large format, medium format, and 35mm black-and-white film.”    —Sasha Wolf Gallery

Elisabeth Tonnard, “In This Dark Wood” (2008)

elisabeth-tonnard-in-this-dark-wood-2008
“This book is a modern gothic. It pairs images of people walking alone in nighttime city streets with 90 different English translations I collected of the first lines of Dante’s Inferno. The images, showing a crowd of solitary figures, are selected from the same archive as used for Two of Us (the extraordinary Joseph Selle collection at the Visual Studies Workshop which contains over a million negatives from a company of street photographers working in San Francisco from the 40’s to the 70’s).
The book is set up in a repetitious way, to stress a sense of similarity, endlessness and interchangeability. The images are re-expressions of each other, and so are the texts.”    —Elisabeth Tonnard

Contributed by Guy Raffa (University of Texas – Austin)

Yinka Shonibare, Photographer

yinka-shonibare-photographer“In his Victorian house in the East End here Yinka Shonibare, the British-Nigerian conceptual artist, perched on an exercise ball at the wooden table in his book-crammed study, sipping peppermint tea and examining a shipment of faux oysters on the half shell.
A stationary hand cycle sat beside him, an electric wheelchair across from him. One of Bob and Roberta Smith’s slogan paintings, ‘Duchamp stinks like a homeless person,’ hung above him, and a tuna on toast prepared by his housekeeper was sandwiched between a vase of yellow tulips and a stack of Dante volumes: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. . .
On that gray May day in the East End, Mr. Shonibare was trying to decompress after directing a weeklong photo shoot that involved 25 live snakes, 14 nude models, 6 pigs and 2 lamb’s heads. Inspired by Dante, Arthur Miller, Gustav Dore’ and the financial crisis, the shoot was a work in progress, ‘Willy Loman: The Rise and Fall,’ which seeks to depict what happens after the death of the salesman. (Hint: It’s hellish.)” [. . .]    –Deborah Sontag, The New York Times, June 17, 2009

The Gluttony Cake

dante-inferno-gluttony-cake.jpg

Found on Flickr

Contributed by Dien Ho

“Inferno & Paradiso” a photojournalistic exhibit in South Africa (2001)

inferno-paradiso-photojournalistic-exhibit-in-south-africa

“. . .World renowned artist/photographer Alfredo Jaar curated this show which is presented as a collaboration between the SANG, the BildMuseet in Umea, Sweden, and Riksutstallningar, the Swedish Travelling Exhibitions Organisation. His curatorial method was this: ‘I invited 18 photojournalists from around the world to contribute two images to the exhibition (inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy). For ‘Inferno’ I asked them to select the single image that was the most difficult to produce, the one that caused the most pain and anguish. And for ‘Paradiso’, the most joyful one, the one that has given them the most happiness in the world.’ ”
–Sue Williamson, Art Throb

Contributed by Charlie Russell (Bowdoin, ’08)