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Title

Bodies of light

2006


Artist

Bill Viola

United States of America

25 Jan 1951 -


About

Performers: Jeff Mills and Lisa Rhoden

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

2006


Materials used

video diptych, 9:16 ratio, black and white, silent, 21:27 min; plasma screens


Edition

1/7


Dimensions

102.0 x 122.0 x 9.0 cm overall


Credit

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


Location

Not on display


Accession number

252.2011.a-b


Artist information

Bill Viola

Works in the collection

6


Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 7 publications

Bibliography


Simon Grant, Bill Viola Love/Death: The Tristan Project, 'Bill Viola: the visual pilgrim', pg.4-7, 2006, 7, 21, 22-23 (illus.).

Shirley J. Madill, Sublime embrace: experiencing consciousness in contemporary art, 2006.

Kira Perov, Bill Viola: Bodies of Light, 2009.

Kira Perov, Bill Viola: visioni interiori, 2008.

Randy Jayne Rosenberg, Missing peace: artists & the Dalai Lama, 2006.

Peter Sellars, New Crowned Hope: Festival Wien, 2006.

Wayne Tunnicliffe (Editor), John Kaldor family collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2011, 257, 264-65 (illus.).