Saturday, March 22, 2014

FRANKFURT: The Divine Comedy

Edson Chagas, TIPO PASS, Filipe D. Kuangana, 2012. Courtesy of the artist and A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia © Edson Chagas. 
Image via

Heaven, Hell, Purgatory Revisited by Contemporary African Artists
March 21 – July 21, 2014

Domstrabe 10
Frankfurt, Germany

From the Museum Für Moderne Kunst web site:

In The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory revisited by Contemporary African Artists, the MMK will serve as a stage for Dante’s Divine Comedy on 4,500 square metres of exhibition space. In this early fourteenth-century epic, which combines central notions of Christianity with religious concepts of antiquity, the Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) explores theological, philosophical and moral issues which have lost nothing of their social and political topicality to this day. His work forms the foundation for the exhibition developed by curator Simon Njami in cooperation with the MMK and to be presented subsequently at four further venues worldwide.

On three floors, one each devoted to heaven, hell and purgatory, works in a variety of media will be presented: paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos, installations and performances. A large number of the works will be conceived specifically for the MMK interior and premiered by the show. Taking their own widely differing cultural and religious backgrounds as a point of departure, the artists will examine individual thematic sequences of the Divine Comedy. In some cases the otherworldly realms will be visualized as godless places brought to life by the power of imagination; in other works they will be associated with ideas of divinity, hope or loss. 

Against the background of the many Africa-related exhibitions of the past years, the MMK perceives the need to investigate the significance of African art not only in the post-colonial context but also with regard to aesthetics. The exhibition will accordingly not be limited to historical or political depictions; on the contrary, it will set its sights on poetry and art as expressive means of conveying and communicating the unspoken. The exhibition concept transports the universal issues of the Divine Comedy, an incunable of European literature, into the present and places them in a transnational contemporary context.   

Click here for list of artists featured in exhibition.

Click here to view more images in exhibition.

1 comment:

  1. I’ve just learned that this “Divine Comedy” catalog has been published, apparently with my professional translation work included without my knowledge or permission. I am owed more than $450.00 by Simon Njami for translation work on this catalog and was never even given a chance to check the proofs! Eva Huttenlauch contacted me on behalf of current exhibition presenter MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, but she and her institution have refused to cooperate in any way, not even acceding to my request that the top person at this institution be informed of what has happened and that MMK cease selling or distributing any copies of the English-language catalog until outstanding issues are resolved regarding unauthorized sale and use of my translation work. This strikes me as highly unprofessional on her and her institution’s part.