A pioneer of video art, Bill Viola explores the mechanics of sound and image in his monumental installations. From his first videos in the ‘70s to his recent retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris, Bill Viola confronts us to his thought process and his questionings.
#1. Who am I?
In this color video, two men appear from the sides and walk towards one another in a desert landscape. When their paths cross, they interract briefly and they go their separate ways. Viola suggests the inevitable separation of a father and his son, at the moment when their lives take opposite directions.
#2. Where am I?
This monumental work can’t let anyone indifferent. The viewer is confronted with 5 video pieces disposed as Renaissance murals, which gives them a disconcerting architectural aspect. The themes of human existence are dealt with successively: birth and self-development, society, the inevitable passage represented by death, and, finally, rebirth.
#3. Where am I going?
Bill Viola asks himself questions on death and the becoming of us humans. Through the recurring metaphor of water, the artist immerges the viewer in his interrogations. In this piece, the lifeless man seems to be taken away by a supernatural power and his souls travels far beyond. The only thing that stays when he is gone is the concrete stand on which he was resting, a symbol of the transience of human life.