The Dante Trap by Arnaud Delalande (2011)

“Murder follows murder, each more gruesome than the last, and as Viravolta begins to draw the connections between these deaths, and the torments reserved for sinners in each of Dante’s circles of hell, he finds himself embroiled in a terrible game of cat and mouse. As the streets of Venice fill with masked Carnival-goers, and as Anna and Viravolta are once again thrown together, he is drawn further into the inferno, to the heart of a secret sect and a plot to bring about the downfall of the city.” —Orion Books

Contributed by Alessandra Mazzocchi (Florida State University ’19)

Yi Zhou, The Ear (2009), The Greatness (2010)

“Imagine that van Gogh, after slicing off his ear, finds himself sucked down a passage into his own brain, which turns out to be the concentric onion of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Then capture that journey with three-dimensional digital imaging software and turn it, frame by computerized frame, into a five-minute animated movie. [. . .]

“She had her first breakthrough when she was taken on by the Jerome de Noirmont gallery in Paris in 2002. Since then, she has had a major sculpture and video projection work, ‘Paradise,’ installed in the Piazza della Signoria and the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, in 2006 [. . .].

“Ms. Zhou’s solo show of video art, ink brush drawings and sculpture at Shanghai Contrasts, running to Dec. 9, is built around her most recent film, The Greatness, a variation on the theme of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

“The film is a sequel to The Ear: both star Pharrell Williams, one in the flesh and the other as a sculpted vase, and both explore transience and death. In The Greatness, Mr. Williams’s look-alike vase, shattered by a bullet, disintegrates into a fractured universe while the bullet, like Dante guided by Virgil, travels through visions of hell and redemption accompanied by an other-worldly soundtrack composed by Mr. Morricone.” [. . .]    –Claudia Barbieri, The New York Times, December 1, 2010

Read more about The Greatness, on Vice.

Sand Sculptures of Dante’s Inferno


“These particular sand sculptures are actually inspired depictions of the circles of hell, as presented in Dante’s Inferno. The sculptures were created in Italy by a team of 18 of the world’s greatest sand sculpture artists. The result, as you can see in this Flickr stream by user Htmarcos, is simply breathtaking.”    –Jill Harness, Mental Floss, February 24, 2010

See more photos on Flickr and Love These Pics.

“Fa come natura fece in foco”: Glassworks Exhibit at the Venice Biennale

padiglione-vezenia-biennale“In 1972, glass ceased to have its own section at the Venice Biennale, when the inclusion of what were considered ‘decorative arts’ was abandoned. But at this year’s event, glass has made a comeback in two separate shows: ‘Glasstress,’ an official parallel exhibition at Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti on the Grand Canal, and ‘Fa come natura fece in foco,’ which borrows a line from Dante’s Divine Comedy (‘Do as nature does in the flame’) [Paradiso IV, 59] to evoke the fiery glass furnaces of Murano, at the Padiglione Venezia in the Biennale’s Castello Gardens (both until Nov. 22).” [. . .]    –Roderick Conway Morris, The New York Times, August 7, 2009