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An image of Memoria by Bill Viola

Bill Viola

(United States of America 25 Jan 1951 – )

Media categories
Time-based media, Video, DVD
Materials used
video projection, black-and-white, silent, continuous running; silk cloth screen

projection size 61.0 x 76.2 cm

Signature & date
Signed Certificate of authenticity, blue pen "Bill Viola". Not dated.
Gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number
© Bill Viola
Not on display
Further information

Performer: John Malpede

‘Memoria’ is a precursor to Viola’s later works, including his series 'The passions'. Shot on a low-grade surveillance camera, an image of a man’s face showing a range of emotional states is projected onto silk cloth, recalling the Veil of Veronica or Shroud of Turin. The image is so degraded, however, that it sometimes breaks up, dissolving the face into the snow of recorded noise. Like his 2006 work ‘Bodies of light’, the figure seems to be on the verge of becoming or disintegrating, like a signal from another place.

Bibliography (6)

Alison Ferris (Curator), The Disembodied Spirit, 2003.

Adam Free, Journey to now: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Adelaide, 2003, 61.

Kira Perov, Bill Viola: visioni interiori, 2008.

Michael Rush, Video art, 2003.

Wayne Tunnicliffe (Editor), John Kaldor family collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2011, 257, 259 (illus.).

John Walsh, Bill Viola: The Passions, 2003, 96-97 (illus.), 269.

Exhibition history (2)

Bill Viola: new work, James Cohan Gallery, New York, 20 Oct 2000–25 Nov 2000

Journey to now: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 18 Apr 2003–06 Jul 2003