From the Earth to the World. Ai Weiwei's Functional Dante Reference in the Music Album The Divine Comedy (2013) and in the Lego Portrait Dante Alighieri in LEGO (2016)

Daniel Brandlechner
This article sets out to illuminate two intermedial Dante references in the artwork of the Chinese-western artist Ai Weiwei: the music album The Divine Comedy (2013) and the Lego portrait Dante Alighieri in LEGO (2016). By paying special attention to surfaces, the "surface reading" presented in this article seeks to interrogate the function of these references. However, in place of Why? the question in this article is shaped more by How? Due to Dante's inherent mediality, the intermedial Dante
more » ... eferences function as a social medium. The article demonstrates, how mediality becomes evident through two operators: seriality and combinatorics. By placing the artist on one of the two sides of mediation, this article implicitly reverses the role long reserved for Ai Weiwei: that of the cultural mediator.
doi:10.13125/2039-6597/4207 fatcat:g6ciacerjfg2ngdtldjjt4woim