BIll Viola video art floods the Guggenheim

 

 

 

Going Forth By Day, 2002. “The Deluge” 

 

 

Bill Viola (New York, 1951) was graduated from Syracuse University in 1973. He has been an essential figure in the field of contemporary video art. He has created installations, video/films, sound environments, flat panel video pieces and works for concerts, opera and sacred spaces. Influenced by classical painting and by both Eastern and Western culture (Zen Buddhism and Christian mysticism), he works on universal human themes such as time, life and death and passions. Through them he tries to describe our experience in the world.

 

 

Catherine’s Room, 2001

 

 

Viola’s artistic career has been developed at the same time of media technologies. He has worked closely with Kira Perov, his wife and collaborator. Within his first videos, we find `The reflecting pool´, that describes the emergence of the individual into the natural world; or `Four Songs´, which presents musical narratives that explore the psychological/emotional dynamics of the individual. In the 80´s, he made projects for broadcast television. Afterwards, he developed whole room installations that immerse the viewer in images and sound. During 90´s, he introduced sculptural objects, like his huge rotating screen from his `Slowly Turning Narrative´, of 1992. In this piece, the room and all persons within it become a continually shifting projection screen, enclosing the image and its reflections, and all locked into the regular cadence of the chanting voice and the rotating screen.

 

 

Surrender, 2001

 


With the arrival of the high-definition flat screens, Viola began to produce small and medium-format pieces in a series he titled the `Passions´. Among them, we can find `Catherine’s Room´, 2001, a view into the privacy of a solitary woman who goes about a series of daily rituals. Last decade pieces still reflect his existential thinking. His last creation is ´Inverted birth’, that talk about birth and death through darkness and light and using fluids that symbolize the essence of life (earth, blood, milk, water and air).

 

 

Tristan’s Ascension, 2005

 

 

Bill Viola´s videos, in slow motion make the spectator escape from agitated life. his from his Workshops and talks. Visitor will be able to contemplate VIola´s video-art in Guggenheim rooms until the 9th of November. Besides, exits the opportunity of attending workshops or talks in parallel.

 

 

Inverted Birth, 2014

 

 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.