Videospread part of Printemps de l’Art Contemporain, Marseilles.

Videospread is pleased to present Inferno, by Marie Bovo. The programme will be screened May 12th, during Printemps de l’Art Contemporain’s opening party at Les Grandes Tables de La Friche, Marseilles.

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 For Videospread’s programme, the voices have been replaced by English subtitles which scroll on the image and accompany Marie Bovo’s “visual phrases”.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