The Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) and the Harvard Art Museums are pleased to announce an unprecedented three-part exhibition that addresses the converging domains of contemporary art and design practice. Titled The Divine Comedy, this exhibition is comprised of major installations by internationally acclaimed artists Olafur Eliasson, Tomás Saraceno, and Ai Weiwei, and is on display March 21 through May 17, 2011, at the Graduate School of Design, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, and the Northwest Science Building.

“We are extremely excited to host these path-breaking artists and their explorations of how art and design can powerfully engage the public domain, an area of increasing focus at the Graduate School of Design,” said Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of the GSD and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design.

The Divine Comedy borrows its title from Dante Alighieri’s epic medieval poem in which the author presents a vision of earthly existence as an allegorical journey through the realms of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. Dante’s masterwork is widely considered to be the first poetic presentation in which scientific and philosophical themes were given central place. This exhibition explores the political dimensions of History (Weiwei), Mind (Eliasson), and Cosmos (Saraceno), and how these aspects of contemporary experience are being engaged by art and design speculation today.

Olafur Eliasson
Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA
Public hours: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon–4 p.m.

Tomás Saraceno
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Terrace, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA
Public hours: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1–5 p.m.

 

Ai Weiwei
Northwest Science Building, B1 Level, 52 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA
Public hours: Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

Event
An opening event will be held on Friday, April 8, at the Graduate School of Design’s Piper Auditorium, beginning at 5 p.m. The exhibition and the event are free and open to the public. Seating is limited: individuals attending the Graduate School of Design’s Open House program and the School’s current students, faculty, and staff will be admitted to the auditorium first.

Publication and Website
A brochure will accompany this exhibition. The Graduate School of Design will host a website at www.thedivinecomedy.org; a mobile version will be available.