LIO MALCA PRESENTS:
BILL VIOLA AT LA NAVE SALINAS
June 21st-October 13th, 2018
New York art collector Lio Malca, in collaboration with Bill Viola and Bill Viola Studio, are pleased to present two of the artist's most acclaimed works: Fire Woman and Tristan's Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall).
In 2018, La Nave Salinas presents two pieces of video art by video artist Bill Viola: Fire Woman and The Ascension of Tristan (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall). For its projection, a 7x5 feet screen has been installed in the center of the show space. All lighting has been dispensed with, leaving the viewer in an entirely dark La Nave. The only light source is the vivid glow of the projections.
Fire Woman is an image seen in the mind’s eye of a dying man. The darkened silhouette of a female figure stands before a wall of flame. After several minutes, she moves forward, opens her arms, and falls into her own reflection. When the flames of passion and fever finally engulf the inner eye, and the realization that desire’s body will never again be met blinds the seer, the reflecting surface is shattered and collapses into its essential form—undulating wave patterns of pure light.
Format: Video and sound installation.
Duration: 11:12 minutes, 2005.
Performer: Robin Bonaccorsi.
Tristan’s Ascension describes the ascent of the soul in the space after death as it is awakened and drawn up in a backward-flowing waterfall. The body of a man is seen lying on a stone slab in an empty concrete room. Small drops of water become visible as they leave the ground and fall upward into space. What starts as a light rain soon becomes a roaring deluge, and the cascading water jostles the man’s limp body and soon brings him to life. His arms move of their own accord and his torso arches upward amidst the churning water.
Finally, his entire body rises off the slab and is drawn up with the rushing water, disappearing above. The torrent of water gradually subsides, and the drips decrease until only the empty slab remains, glistening on the wet ground. The image sequence is projected onto a tall, vertically oriented screen mounted on the wall.
Format: Video and sound installation.
Duration: 10:16 minutes, 2005.
Performer: John Hay.
“There's more than just the surface of life.
The real things are under the surface.”
Bill Viola (New York, 1951) is a key figure in contemporary art. His works have been exhibited prominently in collections and museums throughout the world. Viola’s work is award-winning, including such honors as the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1989). In 2017, he was appointed an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Art in London. Influenced by artists such as Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, and Bruce Nauman, Bill Viola approached the newly born universe of video art in the 1970s, after graduating from the University of Syracuse in New York.
His work concerns itself deeply with the human condition. Universal themes such as birth, death, life, and transformation reveal the artist's interest in mystical experiences, especially Zen philosophy, Christian mysticism, and Sufism. Medieval and Renaissance art are also aesthetically present in hiswork. Viola skillfully combines a rich and varied aesthetic quality with sound and music, creating an otherworldly experience.
Bill Viola is a pioneer in the technological field, but the technology he utilizes is never the summation of his work, rather he uses technology to better refine the theme one which has long been an obsession within in his work: duality. Life and death, light and darkness, action and calm, strength and tranquility. Viola plays a constant game of opposites with his work. He is interested in recreating interior landscapes where time is infinite and subtle changes of light create an eternity as sound acts as a spiritual guide. His works are a space for meditation, contemplation, and perhaps even epiphany.