I’m Joan Jonas and I live and work in New York, this is the first time I’ve been in the Venice Biennale, my work is in the Arsenale. Reading Dante, the title, describes the process, because it’s not an illustration of Dante it’s a representation. I’ve chosen fragments from the Dante texts from all three books of ‘The Divine Comedy’, and it’s a kind of free-associative method I use to collect images and put them together. And then the drawings that I make in the process of developing my work are translated and layered and I trace them on the walls. And there’s also a second video which is what I call Drawing Dante, and I’ve made chalk-board drawings before as videos, since 1976 I’ve been doing that, so that drawing is all about the different Dante structures and worlds. And then I made the lights, I designed the lights because I wanted the space to have a special ambience, I wanted to make an atmosphere in the space. I’ve never made lights before so now I’m very interested in these lights, they’re made out of paper. And then the benches, I asked a friend of mine who’s a designer to design the benches to give it another sculptural element. So people can sit, because I think it’s very important for people to be able to, my piece is about forty minutes, they should be able to sit down. And it also is kind of a crossing point, and a meeting place and a sitting place for this audience that moves through the Arsenale. I’m the director and I do all the filming my elf and I write the script, I mean I collect the script, I structure the piece myself. But I design the soundtrack, you know that’s what a visual artist is in relation to this form. I started out as a sculptor so I always thought in terms of space and in terms of occupying space, but it’s been a long process of developing a language that’s become increasingly layered, so this is one of the results of that process that’s lead to this. I want people to simply try to experience the work without too many preconditions, and it’s the way you would go to a film, because people don’t explain things to you before you go into a film, you go in. And I think a lot of the audience has seen a lot of this kind of work, so a lot of them are pretty educated. And then for somebody who knows nothing I hope that they can enjoy it, I really do, but my work is not didactic in that sense. In the 60’s I saw happenings and performances by visual artists and that inspired my to shift because I saw that I could make a much more dimensional work because there wasn’t really such a thing as ‘installation art’ at that time and also the minute I started performing I loved to perform and I could see that I could develop my gestures and images through working with my body, myself, and my movements. The word performance art was not my invention, it was a curators invention so I really consider those early works I made sets, for instance the Juniper Tree at the Tate, it’s a set for my performance but it’s also a sculptural piece. I had to create a space to perform in which was based on my study of art history, looking at paintings and sculpture, and developing a kind of visual language through that and then taking it to all kinds of different spaces like the outdoors and non-gallery museum spaces and so on.