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The installation APPROACH borrows its text from Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, written in Italy almost 700 years ago. Dante’s poem is concerned with man’s search for meaning and not least for the inexplicable or intangible.

On entering the installation APPROACH you hear voices reciting the first 13 verses of “Paradiso”, and you meet the visual side, in which a number of persons recite the same verses, but in sign language. The 13 verses contain Dante’s deeply felt prayer to Apollo to give the poet the strength to hold onto just a little part of what he has seen on his journey.

The sound track and the visuals thus tell the same story, but in different languages. Caught between these two languages, the visitor to the installation is sharply confronted with the fundamental situation of our relation to the surrounding world, the constant necessity of interpretation. The ideal of unambiguous communication does not exist. We are always in a field of interpretation, and even though we speak the same language, it is not given that we understand the same thing.

Eva Koch © 2005 / Pal 4:3 Split stereo / 3:20 min.

Idea: Torben Christensen & Eva Koch • text: Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Paradiso • translated by: Mandelbaum Tr. • Voice: Torben Christensen • Chorus sign language: Raziye Acili, Riinette Askgaard, Joan Bentsen, Alida Faustrup, Torsten Guhle, Nathalie Hein, Ragna Huse, Anne Skov Hårdell, Bo Hårdell, Lise Lotte Kjær, Gertrud Magnusson, Alda Padeiro, Jørgen Sandholt, Charlotte Tøfting, Janne Wolfeld • Consultant: Nicky Stiddard Lewis, Elisabeth Engberg-Pedersen, Copenhagen University, Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics • Sign language translation: Bo Hårdell, Janne Boye Niemelä • Interpreter during translation: Jane Sørsø • Interpreter during filming: Vibeke Mikaelsen. Location: Flemming Steen Munch, Copenhagen Police • Production manager: Tine Gershøj Knudsen • Photographer: Sebastian Winterø • Assistant photographer: Niels A. Hansen • Gaffer: Viggo Grumme • Lighting technician: Daniel Seidelin • Grip: Mikkel Toft • Sound recording & editing: Emmerik Warburg • Make-up: Marianne Ortmann • Runner: Lasse Baunkilde • Editing: Anja Farsig • Color grading: Niels Plenge • DVD mastering: Henrik Lago • Text: Mai Misfeldt • Translation: John Kendal • The Danish Arts Council’s Committee for Visual Arts.