The Inferno according to Rui Chafes

With Rui Chafes, Joaquim Sapinho and Paulo Pires do Vale

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How can artists engage with history and with their predecessors? What meaning, in today’s world, does the work of Dante and Botticelli hold? In the context of the exhibition Visions of Dante. The Inferno according to Botticelli, we propose a conversation about the influence of The Divine Comedy on the work of sculptor Rui Chafes and director Joaquim Sapinho, with moderation by Paulo Pires do Vale.


BIOGRAPHIES

Rui Chafes (Lisbon, 1966) lives and works in Lisbon. He has exhibited regularly in Portugal and abroad since the late 1980’s, having represented Portugal at the 1995 Venice Biennale and the 2004 São Paulo Biennial. In 2013, he was one of the several international artists invited to exhibit at the Pavilion of the Republic of Cuba at the 55th Venice Biennale.

His work has been exhibited at institutions such as CAM – Calouste Gulbenkian Fondation (Lisbon), Fundação de Serralves (Porto), Museu Coleção Berardo (Lisbon), SMAK (Gent), Museum Folkwang Essen, Esbjerg Kunstmuseum, Kunsthallen Nikolaj (Copenhagen), Fondazione Volume! (Rome), Fundação Eva Klabin (Rio de Janeiro), Fundación Luis Seoane (A Coruña), among others.

In 2018, he held an exhibition of large sculptures in various public spaces in the city of Bamberg, Germany. In the same year he held an exhibition ‘in dialogue’ with Alberto Giacometti at the Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian in Paris.

In 2004, he received the Robert-Jacobsen Sculpture Prize from the Stiftung Würth in Germany. In 2015, he received the Pessoa Prize, awarded by the Expresso newspaper.

Joaquim Sapinho is a director. Someone wrote that ‘his work produces a cinema of attentiveness and of waiting, in which the light reveals not just the presence of the space but also, with both feet on the ground, the soul coinciding with the movement of the body; as it receives this moment of light, time reveals itself – something that only cinema can do.’

Paulo Pires do Vale is a philosopher, university professor, essayist and curator. He organised the Rui Chafes exhibition Inferno (a minha fraqueza é muito forte) [Inferno (my weakness is very strong)], in 2011, and wrote the essay ‘The infernal method’ for the catalogue for the exhibition Visions of Dante. The Inferno According to Botticelli.Since 2019, he has been Commissioner of the National Arts Plan (Portugal).

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