Exhibition: Paradiso Contrapasso


"Holiday in Hell," Denis Corrigan, Oil on Canvas

Paradiso Contrapasso: An exhibition curated by Observatory’s G.F. Newland with Lord Whimsy and Susan Crawford of Plankton Art Co.
OPENING RECEPTION: October 14th, 8:00 PM
ON VIEW: October 14th – November 28th, 2010
HOURS: Thursdays & Fridays 3-6; Saturdays & Sundays 12-6

To compliment the recent opening of Paradise, a year long event at Proteus Gowanus, Observatory explores the theme: Paradiso Contrapasso. In Dante’s Inferno, Paradiso Contrapasso distinguishes each sinner by making his or her punishment uniquely appropriate to the committed sin, so that every soul inhabits a Hell all its own.

For example, consider the story of Paolo and Francesca:
An unlikely marriage is proposed between the beautiful Francesca and the rich, but ugly Gianciotto. Paolo, the handsome brother of Gianciotto seduces the young bride and they become lovers. When Gianciotto discovers their indiscretion, he murders them both. In Hell, Paolo and Francesca are fused together in an eternal embrace, wishing only to be separated.

As Dante journeys through Purgatorio and Paradisio, he does not revisit this technique of contrapasso. For our event, however, Observatory encourages artists to consider divine comedic retribution in all of its possible representations, and from sources such as the Bible and religious and esoteric cosmologies, the ethical philosophies of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, Symbolist poetry, the works of Roald Dahl, the Wizard of Oz, Cautionary Tales, Folklore and Fairy Stories, the Twilight Zone, Modern Dystopias, etc. The emphasis is on “Divine” and “Comedy”, and on our superstitious fear of getting what we wish for!

Martin Bland

Erich O. Carrle
Dennis Corrigan

Matthew Cox
Lord Whimsy / Allen Crawford

John Dilworth
Arlene Ducao
Joanna Ebenstein
Felipe Galindo / Feggo
Crista Grauer
Andrew Keating
Ilias Koen
Luis Locarno
Heather Masciandaro
Richard Meyer
GF Newland
Alison Overton
Herbert Pfostl
Jimmy Picker
Rebecca Posner
James Prochnik
Paul Rumsey
R. Sikoryak
Melissa Stern
Alison Termine
Friese Undine

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