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

 

 

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.