Video Programs


Bill Viola is a major figure in video art. His installations and videotapes, which have received international recognition, are distinguished by a confluence of allegorical resonance and virtuosic control of technology. Viola explores video's temporal and optical systems to metaphorically examine modes of perception and cognition, and ultimately chart a symbolic quest for self. Employing a rigorous structuralism, a ritualized investigation of visual and acoustic phenomena, illusion and reality, he achieves a poetic articulation of visionary transcendence.
(From Electronic Arts Remix)

The Quintet of the Astonished (The Passions), 2:00, 2000

One of the first works in The Passions series, The Quintet of the Astonished, was commissioned by the National Gallery, London, and was inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s painting of a quartet of executioners surrounding Christ. Shot on high-speed film, permitting the action to be slowed drastically when played back, the video is an intense tableau of shifting and momentary emotions. The relationships between the figures were unplanned and exist in varying intensities over the work’s duration.
(From National Gallery of Australia)

Tristan's Ascension, 5:13, 2005
Tristan’s Ascension is made by the American contemporary artist Bill Viola, who is famous for his evocative films. This video installation lasts about 10 minutes. Through a flow of air bubbles we can see a male body lying flat on a stone slab in an empty space. Small drops of water become visible as they leave the ground and rise through space. Slowly the activity of air and flows in the water increase, and the roaring masses of water pushes the body upwards. The body floats over the stone slab and is pushed upwards by the water, until it finally disappears out of our field of sight. The flow of water and drops slowly decreases again, until the empty stone slab is left alone, sparkling on the wet floor. (From Museum Stavanger)