(48 Dante Variations)

First Show: 2004
Location: Fundacio Tapies, Barcelona

Elements: Audiotext, hanging headphone, metallic text on wall.

Ciarán Maher: Composer.


Variation piece based on 47 translations into English of Dante’s opening lines of The Inferno. The 48th variation composed by Ciaran Maher as a fractal structure from the voice recording. Full text and extensive compositional note in Fig (2004).

“Over the course of ten minutes, a listener is treated to a remarkable, sustained exercise in repetition and variation. Certain words and phrases recur insistently — ‘midway,’ ‘I found myself,’ ‘dark wood’ — creating a stable backdrop against which variations from the norm stand out with unusual vividness``.

Brian Reed, Artist,writer and curator of Shorelines

She creates something new by exposing all the old layers, ultimately creating a table or a visible matrix of the discrete points that have composed the unseen narrative of literary tradition.

Laura Goldstein Somewhere
Fundacio Tapies

Location: Fundacio Tapies Barcelona

Date: 2004

Photo credit: Imogen Stidworthy


Link to the text + note. From original publication in Fig (Salt 2004). © C Bergvall. PDF.

Link to  VIA project into Portuguese  Adriano Scandoladro. VIA used as a template to compile 17 Portuguese Dante translations. With an introductory piece. Hosted by translation blog Escamandro 30 Sept 2014

A Polish version has been compiled. Any info received with thanks.

KHUMU Museum

Location: KHUMU museum Tallinn

Date: 2005


Christine Hume: Review of VIA  Raintaxi Review of Books. Spring 2007.

Brian Reed: Lost already walking: Caroline Bergvall’s VIA   Jacket #34 (October 2007) – Essay –

Genevieve Kaplan: How we read Caroline Bergvall’s VIA and why we should care  Jacket #38. Late 2009.

Michael Lieberman: on VIA  Book Patrol, 15 Dec 2009.

Vincent Broqua: Aux Limites de la Traduction : Caroline Bergvall Le Matricule des Anges, no. 114, juin 2010 – Essay – PDF –

Laura Goldstein: Translation as Performance: Bergvall’s VIA