Tag Archives: Bill Viola

The Moving Portrait

IMG_9900.jpgFour Hands // Bill Viola // Black-and-white video polyptych on four LCD flat panels, continuously running // 2001

“The Moving Portrait,” an exhibition dedicated to media and video works by Bill Viola, were on view in the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Viola uses events from the past, both historical and personal, to create his works. “The Raft,” was inspired by Theodore Gericault’s 1818-1819 “The Raft of the Medusa,” which depicted a French shipwreck near Senegal in 1816. However, instead of a raft of shipwrecked men, Viola shows men and women being knocked down by crashing water. As they rise the water comes and knocks them down again. This video projection was made for the 2004 Athens Olympics. While this work was inspired by a historical event and a past painting, “The Dreamers” was influenced by Viola’s near-drowning as a child. This work consists of seven video screens of seven individuals suspended in water. One of the individuals is Viola himself.

IMG_9897The Raft // Bill Viola // Color high-definition video projection 5.1 channels of surround sound, duration: 10:33 minutes // 2004

IMG_9894The Dreamers // Bill Viola // Seven channels of color high-definition video on seven plasma displays: four channels of stereo sound, continuously running // Performers (L) Gleb Kaminer (R)Rebekah Rife // 2013

Moving Stillness

IMG_1631Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier) // Bill Viola // 1979 // Video/sound installation Color videotape playback with rear projection reflected off water surface of a pool in a large, dark room; aquarium aerator with timing circuit; amplified stereo sound // Edition of 2 + 1 AP // Blain Southern Gallery // Photograph by Seán Mac Oitir

Contemporary video artist Bill Viola now has one of his installations, Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier) on view in Blain Southern Gallery, London. A leader in the video art world, Viola’s work consists of a video screen located over a pool of water. The video coupled with the pool of water serves to highlight the transcendence of nature. While the mountain may appear to move across the screen, it is in fact still. It is Moving Stillness after all. The sounds of the video and the visual rippling of the water cause you to feel as though the image is moving. It plays with your eye. This work is on view until November so you still have time to experience Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier).