Observance by Bill Viola

Part of 'The Passions' series.


Colour high-definition video on plasma display
120.7 x 72.4 x 10.2 cm
Art Fund grant:
£41,118 ( Total: £82,237)
Acquired in:
Haunch of Venison

Based on Albrect Dürer 'Four Apostles' (1526) where a community of feeling is created through the shared ritual of grief. In Viola's interpretation the actors form a narrow row and are asked to step forward to look at 'something they would rather not see... to say goodbye to someone who'd left them'. As each person moves to the front of the row they pause, as if overcome with emotion. Their shared mourning creates a solemn public event that gains added poignancy in the context of contemporary world events. The clothes worn by the actors are overtly contemporary, but their saturated colours pay homage to Dürer's original scheme, and the traditional colours worn by the Apostles.


The artist.

Venue details

Walker Art Gallery William Brown Street, LIVERPOOL Merseyside L3 8EL 0151 478 4199 www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker

Entry details

Free to all

Daily, 10am – 5pm

Closed 24, 25, 26 and 31 Dec and 1 Jan