Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Exhibit transforms centuries-old classic into imaginary narrative with political relevance today

Lewis & Clark College will exhibit Sandow Birk's "Dante's Divine Comedy" and selected works from "American Qur'an" in the Hoffman Gallery on campus, 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road, Portland.

The exhibit is scheduled from Jan. 24 through March 17.

Artist Sandow Birk and writer Marcus Sanders relocated Dante Alighieri's epic poem "The Devine Comedy" to contemporary urban America in 2003. In his illustrations for the three books ("Inferno," "Purgatorio" and "Paradiso"), Birk depicted Dante as a sneaker-and-hoodie-clad slacker. Accompanied by the ancient Roman poet Virgil, Dante journeys through the circles of Hell to Purgatory and Paradise, presented as versions of modern American cities. The result transforms a centuries-old classic into an imaginary narrative with political relevance for today's audiences.

Also included in the exhibition are selections of Birk's "American Qur'an," a project in which he hand-transcribed the Qur'an according to historic Islamic traditions and illuminated the text with relevant scenes from contemporary American life. Nine years in the making, the project was inspired by a decade of extended travel in Islamic regions of the world.

The artist will lecture on the exhibition at 4 p.m. on Jan. 24 in Miller Hall, room 105. A reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. the same day in Hoffman Gallery.

The gallery's regular hours are Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free; parking on campus is free on weekends.

— For The Review, Tidings

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