Displaying the intertextual nature of the humanities and the arts, a team of the Faculty of Humanities’ (FH) Radio/TV and Film students at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) exhibited their visual projects, both photo and video, at the Tanit Gallery as part of a workshop with the artist collective Antonello Ghezzi, under the theme of “What is Not Inferno?”
Nadia Antonello and Paolo Ghezzi formed the joint project Antonello Ghezzi in 2009, in Bologna, Italy. Since then, the duo has showcased their artwork at prestigious exhibitions worldwide, including the Italian Institute of Culture of Athens, Greece, and the Usina del Arte in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Antonello Ghezzi stands out in the contemporary art scene by defying expectations and finding the extraordinary in everyday life.
Antonello Ghezzi’s “What is not Inferno?” project is inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, chronicling Kublai Khan and Marco Polo’s debate on the infernal fate of cities, in which Polo observes: “The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day” (Calvino, 1974, p. 165). When Kublai inquired about escaping the Hadean urban structures, Polo advises: “[S]eek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space” (Calvino, 1974, p. 165).
Accordingly, Antonello Ghezzi’s project aims to establish new perceptions of modern urban life, in an attempt to find places of solace amidst the busy day-to-day. At Tanit Gallery, the “What is not Inferno?” project invites viewers to reflect and engage with new perspectives on Lebanese reality, specifically Beirut, encouraging both contemplation and curiosity.
NDU students, Tania Amer, Christopher Apikian, Jad Hariz, Jimme Rahi, and Mario Sammour, were also given the opportunity to answer the project’s eponymous question through still images as well as a five-minute video titled “Umanità.” The collaboration between Antonello Ghezzi and NDU was supervised by Dr. Joseph Houssni, the Chairperson of the Department of Media Studies at the FH.
Through the intertextual fusion of philosophy, creativity, and media, the collaboration yielded unique pieces that recontextualized the intersection of the visual arts and humanities. The “What is not Inferno?” exhibition can be viewed till Thursday, November 23, 2023.