Bill Viola is recognized as a pioneer in video art, with a career spanning over forty years. His work across single channel video, video installation, sound environments, electronic music performances, and broadcast television deeply examines the universal themes of life, death, the unfolding of consciousness, the spirit, and the human condition. The presentation at DHC/ART brings together four flat panel video works, The Return (2007), Ancestors (2012), Walking on the Edge (2012), and The Encounter (2012), as well as the projection work Ascension(2000). Making its Canadian debut is his most recent major installation, Inverted Birth (2014). This monumental projection depicts the five stages of awakening through a series of violent transformations, exploring the very nature of our existence: life, death, birth, and rebirth. “Birth is not a beginning, death is not an end,” as Viola has remarked, quoting from the Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu (370–287 BC).
The Foundation wishes to thank Kira Perov, Jane Cohan, James Cohan Gallery, and François Rochon of the Giverny Capital Collection for their support in realizing this exhibition.
About Bill Viola
Bill Viola was born in New York in 1951 and graduated from Syracuse University in 1973. A seminal figure in the field of video art, he has been creating installations, films, sound environments, flat panel video pieces, and works for concerts, opera, and sacred spaces for over four decades. Viola represented the US at the Venice Biennale in 1995. Other key solo exhibitions include Bill Viola. Electronic Renaissance, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence; Bill Viola. Installations, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; Bill Viola. Retrospective, Guggenheim Bilbao (all 2017); Bill Viola, Grand Palais, Paris (2014); Bill Viola, visioni interiori, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2008); Hatsu-Yume (First Dream), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2006); Bill Viola – Visions, ARoS, Aarhus (2005); The Passions, J. Paul Getty Museum (2003); Bill Viola: A 25-Year Survey, The Whitney Museum of American Art (1997).
In 2004, Viola created a four-hour video for Peter Sellars’s production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, which has had many performances in the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan. Viola has received numerous awards, including the XXI Catalonia International Prize (2009) and the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan ArtAssociation (2011). He was elected as an Honorary Member to the Royal Academy, London, in 2017.
About Kira Perov
Kira Perov is executive director of Bill Viola Studio. She has worked closely with Bill Viola since 1979, managing, creatively guiding, and assisting with the production of his video works and installations. She edits all Bill Viola publications and organizes and coordinates exhibitions of the work worldwide. Kira Perov earned her BA (Honours) in Languages and Literature from Melbourne University, Australia in 1973.
DHC/ART Fondation pour l’art contemporain
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