We proudly present 'Raul Marroquin's Most Dreaded Cantos from Dante's Inferno', a solo exhibition at TORCH gallery. Based on the famous first part of one of the world's greatest works of Western literature, Marroquin created works made of different media, from video to drawings to readymades to his self named 'composites'. Acknowledged worldwide for his video art, the Colombian born artist had ideas for these works since 1966, and continued working on these over the last fifteen years. Being one of the leading artists of the Fluxus and conceptual art movement in The Netherlands during the sixties and seventies, this involvement is unmistakable to this day. The exhibition shows how Marroquin still knows how to tell a convincing story with the most subtle artistic means.
When he grew up in Columbia, his grandmother used the stories from Inferno to scare Raul and his brother. Since then he has always been fascinated by this legendary tale, written by Dante in 1543. The story tells the journey of Dante going through hell, guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. Hell is depicted as nine circles, where in each circle Dante and Virgil encounter its residents and talk to them about what they have done and why they are where they are. Inferno is only the first part of the book Commedia dell'Arte, which as a whole serves as an allegory for the journey of the soul towards god. In this journey, Inferno describes the recognition and rejection of sin.
The story is divided in cantos, like chapters. Every work in this exhibition represents a different canto, including the one where Dante and Virgil meet for the first time, their encounter with the poets in limbo and their conversation with the lovers Paula and Francesca. Next to each work will be a summary of the particular canto, linking the work to the story.
Raul Marroquin (1948) was one of the first artists using video as medium in the early 1970s. Born in Bogotá, Colombia, he came to study at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. He was heavily involved with the Fluxus and conceptual art movement of that time. He published one of the first artist magazines (Fandangos) in the world, made a live satellite project between New York and Amsterdam and produced live radio (Hoeksteen) and television shows. His single-channel works, objects, composites and installations are part of many private and public collections in Europe, the Americas, Australia and the Far East, including Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, MoMA in New York, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Bogotá and Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid.