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joan jonas

reading dante iv

november 26, 2010 – february 26, 2011

via a. stradella 7

Raffaella Cortese is pleased to present the first solo show in the Milanese gallery by the acclaimed American artist Joan Jonas.

Reading Dante IV draws inspiration from Dante’s fourteenth-century Divine Comedy, a reoccurring topos of Jonas’s work since 2007. Each performance and installation becomes increasingly layered as the work transforms and develops. The first installation and performance of Reading Dante took place at the 2008 Biennale of Sydney. Later that year Jonas performed the work at the Yokohama Triennale, and also performed a reading at The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, from which filmed excerpts are now incorporated into the current Dante video. Jonas was featured in the International Pavilion of the 2009 Venice Biennale where she installed Reading Dante II. Most recently, the artist presented Reading Dante II at the Performing Garage in New York as part of Performa ’09, and selected elements of this performance are featured in Reading Dante III and reviewed in the Italian Reading Dante IV. read more

Raffaella Cortese is pleased to present the first solo show in the Milanese gallery by the acclaimed American artist Joan Jonas.

Reading Dante IV draws inspiration from Dante’s fourteenth-century Divine Comedy, a reoccurring topos of Jonas’s work since 2007. Each performance and installation becomes increasingly layered as the work transforms and develops. The first installation and performance of Reading Dante took place at the 2008 Biennale of Sydney. Later that year Jonas performed the work at the Yokohama Triennale, and also performed a reading at The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, from which filmed excerpts are now incorporated into the current Dante video. Jonas was featured in the International Pavilion of the 2009 Venice Biennale where she installed Reading Dante II. Most recently, the artist presented Reading Dante II at the Performing Garage in New York as part of Performa ’09, and selected elements of this performance are featured in Reading Dante III and reviewed in the Italian Reading Dante IV.

Jonas translates the medieval allegory, borrowing small fragments of the text and greatly reinterpreting the story through performance, sound, drawings, video and installation. The artist dynamically visualizes the journey of the characters, merging their experience with her own through footage of travels and performance. The plethora of elements employed by Jonas, which initially may seem disparate, collectively form a complex, choreographed, and imaginative vision in the artist’s personal aesthetic language.

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