In the framework of Italian Contemporary Art Day, a publishing project by Jacopo Valentini, realized in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of Addis Ababa.
‘Concerning Dante – Autonomous Cell‘ by Jacopo Valentini is a photographic project that won the ‘Cantica21. Italian Contemporary Art Everywhere‘ public notice, jointly promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and by the Ministry of Culture with the aim of enhancing Italian contemporary art, supporting the production of works by emerging and established artists.
Over the centuries, the cultural significance of Dante’s Divine Comedy has gone beyond the purely literary sphere, influencing various aspects of society thanks also to a vast tradition of visual transpositions. ‘Concerning Dante – Autonomous Cell’ is a meta-project on the relationship between literary text and landscape, and on the evocative power of the Divine Comedy that, over the centuries, has shaped the perception of places to the point of characterising them as ‘Dantean’. Jacopo Valentini investigated a series of places in Italy mentioned by the ‘Supreme Poet’ and, by relating them to other landscapes and still lifes with the same visual potency, created analogies for a Dantean geography. Valentini’s visual narrative unfolds around three symbolic places and three famous illustrations from Dante’s text, interweaving the Phlegrean Fields, the Pietra di Bismantova and the Delta of the River Po– interpreted as the gateways to Hell, Purgatory and Paradise – with the imagery of Federico Zuccari, Alberto Martini and Robert Rauschenberg.
Jacopo Valentini’s artistic project was selected for the exhibition in Ethiopia, and is accompanied by an editorial initiative created by the publishing house Humboldt Books of Milan in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of Addis Ababa. The book presents the artist’s photographic essay, accompanied by the texts of the literary historian Claudio Giunta, a professor at the University of Trento, and the art critic Carlo Sala, a professor at the IUAV University of Venice.