Michele Horrigan Back

Video (duration 15 minutes)

Puratory continues an investigation into the movements of Renaissance poet Dante Alighieri around the Aix-en-Provence region in southern France. In his writing of vivid descriptions of purgatory in his epic The Divine Comedy, he travelled through hills, valleys and towns of this scenic terrain several times between 1308 and 1321.

At Les Baux, a picturesque town on a hilltop now solely existing as a holiday hotspot, a video was shot drawing a tantalising parallel to what a contemporary purgatory could be – souls walking aimlessly from place to place to find a way out are compared to the modern touristic approach searching for the consummate experience or souvenir. Beginning at a road into Les Baux, through streets of gift shops to a medieval castle hilltop, the resulting video contains quotes from Dante’s Purgatorio to create uncanny juxtaposition.