“…after years of working with video, I experience time as a palpable substance. It's the most real material that I know.”
Kukje Gallery is pleased to present Bill Viola’s third solo show at the gallery. Installed in both the K2 and K3 galleries, this comprehensive exhibition presents seven individual video installations, providing an overview of Bill Viola’s works created between 2005 and 2014. Spanning more than four decades, Viola’s artistic practice has consistently expanded the boundaries of video and challenged our understanding of time-based imagery.
Bill Viola frames the visceral quality of time by asking fundamental ontological questions, allowing his viewers to have a moment of awareness in the act of looking and listening. On the first floor of K2 Gallery the artist has carefully arranged five independent works each of which deals with the subject of transformation within a spiritual quest. By using landscape to help evoke longing and the passage of time, Viola tells stories that showcase humanity and its place in nature. On the second floor of K2 he has installed Night Vigil (2005/2009) using a vocabulary of light and dark to explore the subject of desire. Inspired by Richard Wagner’s nineteenth-century opera Tristan und Isolde, the two-part projection portrays a pair of lovers who transcend their physical duality to merge in spiritual unity. This potent allegory of true love captures the symbolic merging of the individual self with another.
Installed in K3, Inverted Birth (2014) is the largest of the works in the exhibition. This piece shows a man deluged by fluids that slowly change in color and consistency. Immersed in this protean life force the protagonist undergoes a series of shifts in consciousness mirrored in the eyes of the viewer. Viola powerfully reveals how the underlying architecture of perception affects human emotions.
Bill Viola was born in New York in 1951 and graduated from Syracuse University in 1973. He represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1995 with an exhibition titled Buried Secrets. Other key solo exhibitions include Bill Viola: A 25-Year Survey at The Whitney Museum of American Art (1997); The Passions at the J. Paul Getty Museum (2003); Hatsu-Yume (First Dream) at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo in 2006; Bill Viola: Visioni interiori at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni (2008); and Bill Viola, Grand Palais, Paris (2014). He met Australian-born Kira Perov in 1977 who became Viola’s partner and collaborator.