Monday, December 15, 2014

Bill Viola at the Adelaide Festival: the King of Video Art

By Andrew Taylor
Operatic: Fire Woman (2005) originally made for a production of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde. Photo: Kira Perov
AUSTRALIA---Bill Viola was six years old when he almost drowned. The renowned American video artist recalls his near-death experience with fondness, describing it as a moment of beauty rather than terror. Elements of this childhood memory can be seen in Viola's works that will be exhibited during the 2015 Adelaide Festival of Arts, which begins in February. The Messenger, originally commissioned for Durham Cathedral in 1996, features a young man rising repeatedly to the surface of a pool of water to gasp for breath before sinking again. Viola's work often appears to be drenched in piety. His videos may feature imagery inspired by Renaissance devotional art or bear religious titles. He frequently exhibits in churches. [link]

Bill Viola Selected Works is at the Art Gallery of South Australia, Queen's Theatre and St Peter's Cathedral from February 27-March 29. Bill Viola and Kira Perov will be in conversation with David Sefton at Radford Auditorium, Art Gallery of SA on February 28.