“On the Other Side of Time” draws its inspiration from Dante Alighieri’s famous Divine Comedy, a timeless epic that narrates the poet’s travels through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. It is an allegory of man’s journey through life towards salvation, celebrating universalism and goodness as ideals, while emphasizing the consequences of sin and the glories of Heaven. The site-specific installation, occupying the square adjacent to Saint Elias church, at a prominent crossroad in downtown Beirut, echoes both the theme and structure of the poem through a multilayered symbolic composition.
I have always been fascinated by Dante’s Divine comedy. Revisiting it recently was a totally immersive experience, and I was struck by its relevance to the time and place in which we find ourselves, seven centuries after it was written.
Lebanon is in a state of unprecedented economic and social collapse, due to decades of corruption, negligence and treachery, coupled with impunity. For Dante, unrepentant sinners of such wrongdoings are in the lowest circles of “Hell”; they suffer eternal punishments not only for their actions, but for their serious disruption of society.Translating Dante’s vision into public art was emotional and overwhelming. While expressing my response to the here and now, I wanted, above all, the work to be inclusive, engaging, and to instill the belief that, there exists, still, a ray of hope.”.