Bill Viola – Martyrs | ITSLIQUID

Bill Viola – Martyrs

Art | October 7, 2014 |

Bill ViolaImage courtesy of Bill Viola

Bill Viola – Martyrs

This special display of Bill Viola’s Tiny Deaths 1993 coincides with the installation of a new work by the artist in St Paul’s Cathedral entitled Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water). Viola is a pioneer of video art, and has been one of its most important practitioners for more than forty years. Characteristic qualities of his work, such as the interplay between movement and stasis, and the testing of the viewer’s perception through multiple sensations, have become recurring elements of the medium as a whole.

Bill ViolaImage courtesy of Bill Viola

Tiny Deaths was made in 1993. Barely visible figures are perceived in the darkened space until crescendos of light and sound bring moments of drama. His works of the 1990s consistently show the body as the site for physical transformations – often through immersion in light or water – that embody these profound concerns with transformation and mortality. While Tiny Deaths opens up broad possibilities around the meaning and transience of existence, Viola’s recent works address spiritual themes more directly.

Bill ViolaImage courtesy of Bill Viola

Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) consists of four plasma screens, each showing a single figure who is progressively overwhelmed by the onslaught of a natural force.  The experiences of the four individuals are orchestrated together to form a coherent whole. The overriding theme is martyrdom for deep-seated beliefs, with the physical suffering of the body made dramatically evident through the cardinal elements.

Bill ViolaImage courtesy of Bill Viola

Reflecting that the Greek word for martyr originally meant “witness”, Viola has explained that the martyrs “exemplify the human capacity to bear pain, hardship and even death in order to remain faithful to their values, beliefs and principles.” Like much of Viola’s work, Martyrs offers a contemporary contemplation on life, death and afterlife.

more. www.billviola.com | www.tate.org.uk

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to info@itsliquid.com or fill the form below

RELATED POSTS


Roni Horn. You are the…

Art | November 22, 2020

New York artist Roni Horn first traveled to Iceland in 1975, at the age of twenty. Since then she has regularly visited the Nordic volcanic island, which has acquired a particular importance for her work. Read more


Charlotte Posenenske. Work in progress

Art | November 15, 2020

Mudam Luxembourg - Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean presents Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress. The exhibition traces the evolution of the pioneering work of Charlotte Posenenske (b. 1930, Wiesbaden; d. 1985, Frankfurt am Main) during the years 1956-68, a short but prolific period when she was active as an artist. Read more


Uncanny Valley: Being Human in…

Art | November 13, 2020

What are the invisible mechanisms of current forms of artificial intelligence (AI)? How is AI impacting our personal lives and socioeconomic spheres? How do we define intelligence? How do we envision the future of humanity? As technological innovation continues to shape our identities and societies, the question of what it means to be or remain human has become the subject of fervent debate. Taking advantage of the de Young museum's proximity to Silicon Valley, Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI arrives as the first major exhibition in the US to explore the relationship between humans and intelligent machines through an artistic lens. Read more


INTERVIEW: DAVID PHOENIX

Interviews | November 12, 2020

"More than a job, this is my purpose. Sensing, understanding, expressing are the guidelines that have led me to what you will witness in my artwork. As per my personality, my art is a stylistic fusion of encounters and opportunities. Starting with puntinism and arriving to Action Painting and Pouring Painting, I have found my "colourful" way of expressing myself. Passion, a desire to live render my artwork my presentation card. Every single brush stroke, chromatic flexion, line of colour exploded on the canvas, is a part of me." Read more


Sign up for our Newsletter.

Enter your email to receive our latest updates!