Bill Viola

Observance, U.S.A., 2002

Video on plasma display Mounted on wall Photo: Kra Prov.

Courtesy of the artist

Bill Viola is considered one of the most important video artists of our time. His work is characterised by humanistic messages that are conveyed though very powerful staged situations. Bill Viola’s figures stride toward us in silence. They emerge one after the other, each in their turn and beseech the viewer to share their pain. Viola’s works are strictly composed and staged to evoke a deeply spiritual experience leaving the viewer riveted to the figures on the screen. What is the pain which those figures seek to share with us? What is the terrible sorrow on their faces, which communicates itself to us so powerfully?

Is this an attempt to share the burden, to propose a more equal distribution of the suffering humanity keeps pent up deep inside? Does this signify an acceptance of responsibility?