Marie Bovo on Caszuidas screen, Amsterdam.

As part of the “VIDEO GUIDE – Marseilles” screening series on CASZUIDAS screen – Moving Images in Public Space – in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Videospread is pleased to present Marie Bovo’s solo show “Inferno”. The programme will be launched in September 2009 and screened for one year.


Profession: Artist
Gender: Female

Over one hundred years and the determination of many women were necessary to break the bonds that tied female artists to their social status of being Women: excluded from Fine Arts training, from signing contracts with gallery owners without their husband’s consent… A handful of women lead the way and fought to obtain an identical and equal status as men’s, in a field that had long been a masculinist territory.

The networks and groups of women artists, authors, gallery owners, patrons… that arose in Paris in the pre, in-between and post-war years, were not so much associations or partnerships based on the sharing of professional, sexual, social or cultural values, standards or interests, but rather a community which allowed others to act knowing that they were part of a shared reality.

Marie Laurencin, Tamara de Lempicka, Sonia Delaunay, Iris Clert, Niki de Saint Phalle, Annette Messager and Louise Bourgeois – to state only a few – have in turn asserted themselves in a professional context which was for long, ruled by the only will of men. They have, by their achievements, allowed other women to overstep purely formal issues, to take part in the reflection and construction of the global Art theory.

Marie Bovo’s programme – Inferno – is the last of a series of seven solo shows dedicated to contemporary women artists who have chosen Art as a field for research, expression and personal development.



Marie Bovo

– Text by Guillaume Mansart –

It is the desire to confront herself to all forms of displacement, which led Marie Bovo to the necessary and inevitable translation of one of her latest video pieces. As the process of transformation from one language to another involves the creation of a minute space in which words and their meaning can be left uncertain; and as the transfer from a written text to a spoken one creates a slight interval in which feelings remain unspoken, it is precisely in this opening that the artist chose to operate.

Marie Bovo considers the fundamental in the elusive, in what exists beyond territory, in between things, and it is inside the in-between world of Dante’s Inferno that she will express herself in this indescribable language, which constitutes her body of work.

However based on a literary piece of work, her photography and videos should not be interpreted as a literal illustration or adaptation of Dante’s Canto I and V. It is foremost a translation, a shift from written language to formal language (“an intersemiotic translation or transmutation*”). The never ending tunnel, not as a symbol, but rather as an independent figure which reflects the same categories of feelings as those expressed by words. The lily-flower blooming and fading, as the
resonance of a poetic image.

In the original version, the voices of Kadhim Jihad -poet, literary critic and Dante’s Arab translator- and Maha Hassan -Syrian poet of Kurd background- accompany the Inferno Cantos. Both declaim the texts in literary Arab. For Videospread’s programme, the voices have been replaced by English subtitles which scroll on the image and accompany Marie Bovo’s “visual phrases”. It is yet another away to portray the potential transfer of meaning, and offer a new confrontation between a
bold image, an ancestral text, a language spoken worldwide and an out-door public space. Presented on a large screen at the heart of the city, it is a testimony on Hell offered to each and every one of us.

* Roman Jakobson in Course in General Linguistics, quoted by Kadhim Jihad in a text on Marie Bovo’s work.