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Title

Six heads


Artist

Bill Viola

United States of America

25 Jan 1951 -


About

Performer: Tom Fitzpatrick

Bill Viola began experimenting with the possibilities of video as an art form early in the 1970s. He explores and manipulates the specific characteristics of his medium, such as light and linear time, by speeding up, slowing down and reversing his footage. He uses different cameras to create particular atmospheres, ranging from black-and-white surveillance footage to high-end video transferred from 35mm film.

Viola has long been interested in eastern religions and more recently in Christian iconography, in particular images that evoke our ephemeral existence on earth. ‘Observance’ is from ‘The passions’ series. In this work figures move out of the dark towards the portal of the screen, gazing beyond the frame into the viewer’s space as if into a tomb and then with a melancholy air they move away. ‘Six heads’ explores a range of human passions while in ‘Bodies of light' a male and a female stand in water while a globe of light moves up and down their bodies, eventually dissolving their forms.


Details


Date

2000


Materials used

video, 16:9 ratio, colour, silent, 20:00 min; plasma screen


Edition

5/12 [Edition of 12 plus 2 Artist's Proofs]


Dimensions

plasma screen: 102.1 x 61.0 x 8.9 cm


Signature & date

Signed Certificate of authenticity, blue fibre-tipped pen "Bill Viola".


Credit

Gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program


Location

Not on display


Accession number

251.2011


Artist information

Bill Viola

Works in the collection

6


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 3 publications

Bibliography


Adam Free, Journey to now: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Adelaide, 2003, 43 (colour illus.), 61.

Wayne Tunnicliffe (Editor), John Kaldor family collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2011, 257, 262-63 (colour illus.).

John Walsh, Bill Viola: The Passions, 2003, 92-95 (illus.), 269.