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A Riveder le Stelle

Ian Charles Lepine seeks to present beings trapped in a crossroads of contradiction: his interest is to display creatures whose very existence negates their very existence. These are beings at war with themselves, a war where all victories cannot but prove pyrrhic.


His sculptures are frequently complemented by a poem in either English, French, or Italian, that seeks to give a voice to its inert matter.

Author: Ian Charles Lepine

Year: 2022

Title: A riveder le stelle

Technique: Ceramic clay sculpture, painted with oxides and enamel.


The last line of Dante’s Inferno is ‘E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle’ (To gaze anew upon the stars). This part of the Commedia describes Virgil and Dante leaving the infernal regions of sorrow and pain to enter Purgatory. Purgatory offers the light of the stars as a promise of future bliss, but its denizens are still bearing the consequences of their sins.

     In the Commedia, Dante implies that the only way out of the ‘selva oscura’ (twilight forest) where he finds himself in the middle of his life is through a harrowing of Hell, a common motif in literature (Odysseus, Aeneas, Herakles). To gaze upon the stars, one needs to find oneself in total darkness, or their light shall have no meaning.

A Riveder le Stelle

Adesso sono in una selva scura

E ho la paura che comincia il viaggio;

Sono solitario nel naufragio.

Il tramonto è una sepoltura.

L’empatia è morta in assoluto.

Tanti altri, persi come io

Qui non c’è parola, non c’è dio;

Non si può donare mai aiuto.

Vado adesso per il nero sito,

Per l’inferno va la via fuori.

Porto in me la fede e tanti fiori;

Se riesco io sarò pulito.

Nel buio vado con le mie candele

E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.


–2 ottobre MMXXI,


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