Bill Viola
Year, Birthplace 1951, United States
Bill Viola studied visual arts at Syracuse University in New York State and joined the experimental studio there, where he came in contact with video and electronic music created on the synthesizer. He studied music with the composer David Tudor, with whom he collaborated at the core of the Composers Inside Electronic Group. In 1972 he began to set up video installations using monitors and then projections of his videos on large surfaces. Bill Viola’s works use technologies of image and sound to convey a message marked with spirituality and questioning the human condition: birth, death, relationship to the world, transitions. For example, in 1991 he produced The Passing, a video intended as a reflection upon life and death, a reaction to the almost simultaneous events of the death of his mother and the birth of his second son. In 1995 he represented the United States at the Venice Biennale, where he exhibited The Greeting, which brings Pontormo’s Visitation to life in slow motion on a liquid crystal screen. Among his most recent works are the ambitious Five Angels For The Millennium (2001) and the video produced for the opera Tristan and Isolde in 2004 (directed by Peter Sellars). These large-scale projects were realized together with his wife and collaborator, Kira Perov. J-FC