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Exhibition

Hypermodern Dante

The exhibition “Hypermodern Dante”, which was inaugurated on 14th April, has just closed in Belgrade and moved on to pastures new. The exhibition event, which was proposed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and created thanks to cooperation with the Dante Society and the Association of Italianists, was curated by Vincenzo Capalbo and welcomed several hundred visitors in Belgrade, despite restrictions on access due to the pandemic

Thanks to this exhibition, it was possible to tell the story of the wonder and beauty of Italy’s cultural heritage and honour this memory of the country’s SommoPoeta seven hundred years after his death. His Divine Comedy masterpiece is known and famous all over the world. It has been translated into almost all languages, including of course Serbian, and is highly valued and studied. This exhibition could not be lacking in Serbia as a host country, which is a country that has always been attentive and sensitive to the great authors of Italian literature.

The Belgrade stage of the exhibition – which began its tour of six different countries – represented an important opportunity to show the Serbian public some valuable examples of the iconography linked to Dante Alighieri. The exhibition offered a journey into the world of illustrations of Dante’s works and made it possible to admire works by Tom Phillips (London, 1937), a multifaceted artist of precocious versatility; Monika Beisner (Hamburg, 1942), one of the most important and atypical contemporary German illustrators; Mimmo Paladino (Paduli, 1948), who is among the best known and most appreciated Italian artists on the world stage; Emiliano Ponzi (Reggio Emilia, 1978), one of the best known and most appreciated Italian illustrators; Paolo Barbieri (Mantua, 1971), one of the best-known fantasy illustrators at the international level.

Countless celebrations connected to the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death relate to many aspects of art: literature first and foremost, but also music, cinema, theatre and, of course, the visual arts. Dante Alighieri isn’t only an Italian poet by definition, but rather is also one of the founding fathers of the Italian language

The event formed part of commemorations marking the seven hundred anniversary of the death of this great father of the Italian language. Other events marking this great jubilee include envisaged online and faceto- face activities celebrating this writer and poet who contributed to shaping the contours of Italy’s cultural identity and linguistic unity, many centuries before its political unification.

Countless celebrations connected to the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death relate to many aspects of art: literature first and foremost, but also music, cinema, theatre and, of course, the visual arts. Dante Alighieri isn’t only an Italian poet by definition, but rather is also one of the founding fathers of the Italian language; the author of Divine Comedy is the source of one of the most famous, most studied and, let’s face it, most beautiful and admired linguistic codes in the world.

Despite him having lived over seven centuries ago, reading Dante is incredibly understandable to Italians and those who study Italian today, as can be seen by reading Dante’s developed meta-linguistic key of the vernacular [Italian] language in Convivio:

“Dicochemanifestamentesipuòvedere come lo latinoaverebbe a pochidato lo suobeneficio, ma lo volgareserviràveramente a molti” [I say that clearly we can see how Latin would have benefited a few, but the vernacular will really serve many]. In difficult times like the one we’re currently experiencing, getting closer to Dante and his work represents a moment of reinvigoration and relief for our soul.

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