THE PROCESS OF EXISTENCE
“Lost are we, and are only so far punished, that without hope we live on in eternal desire. “ (The Divine Comedy, Inferno - Dante Alighieri,)
The main idea in Dante's The Divine Comedy is essentially how people learn to attain salvation from a cruel world. It gives a long narration of how Dante's journey goes through hell in Inferno and gives a figurative picture of how sinners suffer without any hope of redemption for eternity.
Being born and raised in a country where the general aesthetic has a specific darkness to it because of the history that shaped people’s past, present and future, it came naturally to me to create a world inspired by stories such as Dante's Inferno.
THE PROCESS OF EXISTENCE brings the audience into Dante’s Circles of Hell, simplified to five major chapters of a woman’s life - childhood, teenage years, maturity, loss of the first love and acceptance of change.
As an artist from Romania, I was intrigued by my own culture, once I left to study abroad and how females are treated and raised, how most of the focus is on family life and how unusual it is for women to want more than that.
This project focuses on two major scenes: one on Dante’s journey represented by Beatrice as the main character and the second one is on Paolo and Francesca’s love story, both living incredibly painful destinies. The female characters in my work represent the exact power that I am hoping to see in the future in my own country. I chose to give an homage to my insecure young self and all the girls I know who have the same questions.
Having a background in performing arts I chose to create a space for infinite possibilities - a stage or a” black box”. The process of working with the subjects was as director to actor, letting them improvise on the quotes, only creating a safe space for them, providing costumes and key objects to use. For the period of time we were working, we transported ourselves into Dante’s intense and allegorical commedia.
Art direction - Luana Seu
Light design - Paul Grant
Models - Mathilde Levistre , Meeko Gattuso, Tyler Bryan, Adam Vrana, William Wheatthins, Ange Musoni