10 Oct 2015 – 10 Apr 2016
Free to all
The most extensive UK exhibition devoted to the pioneering video and installation artist in 10 years.
Bill Viola has become known for his emotionally charged video art that investigates fundamental human experiences; as he describes it: 'the unseeable, the unknowable, and the place between birth and death'. Charting 20 years of practice, this exhibition spans from the piece he created in 1995 for the US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale right up to a brand new work that makes its premiere at the park.
Three installations are presented from the Transfiguration series, in which the artist reflects on the process by which a person’s inner being is transformed. Three Women for example, captures a mother and her two daughters passing through an invisible boundary and then slowly returning. Combining grainy images recorded in analogue video using an old surveillance camera with those shot in High-Definition, Viola takes the viewer between obscurity and clarity – as if from death to life.
The Trial, created in 2015 is shown for the first time. In it we see a woman and a man – each on separate screens – who are doused with a sudden and unexpected succession of different coloured liquids. Their ordeal intensifies then wanes as the cycle progresses and changes.
Meanwhile Fire Woman and Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall) are shown one after another on a continuous loop in the chapel in order to chart Viola's enduring interest in ancient stories where lovers bound by duty, honour and social obligation can only realise their passion beyond the grave.