in dante veritas: vasily klyukin sculpturally reinterprets the inferno for the venice biennale

in dante veritas: vasily klyukin sculpturally reinterprets the inferno for the venice biennale

during the venice art biennale, vasily klyukin presents a massive multimedia exhibition that explores themes of human vice and sin, good and evil. ‘in dante veritas’ reimagines dante’s inferno as an environmental collapse — the final consequence for our sin and non-action towards sustaining the earth. comprised of over 100 multimedia elements, including sculpture, installation, digital art, audio and light-boxes, the collection unfolds as a narrative around the nine circles of hell. klyukin presents ‘in dante veritas’ with a hope that visitors will be driven to consider the environmental degradation that future generations will endure.



at the core of the exhibition are 32 sculptural works, 22 of which represent human vices, such as anger, lust, gluttony, and hypocrisy. all of the sculptures made for ‘in dante veritas’ are designed with klyukin’s signature ‘live sculpture’ technique. maximizing flexibility, steel plates are assembled without any fasteners, fanning out like the pages of an open book. furthermore, klyukin gives new names to the the four horsemen of apocalypse: overpopulation, misinformation, extermination and pollution. spanning 3.5 meters high, the pieces — the most physically demanding of the collection to create — usher classical tropes into the modern era.



presented by the state russian museum and the municipality of venice, ‘in dante veritas’ is accompanied by an audio-guide in russian, english, and italian, written in verse and prose by klyukin personally. finally, participatory installations are essential to the exhibition, which include sonic, visual, and spatial elements. in the 9th circle of the inferno, an exhibit titled ‘betrayal’ allows visitors to experience ‘traitor’s hall’, where they are invited to inscribe the initials of those who have wronged them on the walls, and sculptures themselves.



‘you won’t just be visiting an exposition of sins and vices, something dedicated to inferno,’ klyukin describes, ‘you will be diving into an inferno experience, where each object is made of over one hundred intertwined elements: sculptures, light boxes, video mapping, cloth, sound, and more. this is the answer to the questions: what does the underworld look like?; who are we really?; why may we end up in hell?; and are we capable of changing?’



project info: 


artist: vasily klyukin
presented by: the state russian museum
location: arsenale nord, tesa 94
presented during: venice art biennale 2019
on view from: now through november 26, 2019
entrance: free

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