Bill Viola @ James Cohan
||James Cohan Gallery
Tuesday - Saturday:
10:00am - 06:00pm
||533 West 26th Street, New York, United States
||October 23, 2009
||December 5, 2009
||Sunday - Monday
Bill Viola PRESS RELEASE
American artist, Bill Viola will be returning to James Cohan Gallery with his fifth solo exhibition. Viola, who has been working with video since 1970, is well-known for creating immersive environments with moving images and sound. He employs cutting edge technology to alter the viewer's sense of time and space as a means to delve deeply into universal human experiences.
Pneuma, Viola's signature full-room installation from 1994, will be presented in the main gallery space. Pneuma is an ancient Greek word that is commonly translated as soul or spirit and refers as well to breath. As concept, it describes the underlying essence or life force which runs through the entire natural world. Pneuma's projections fill the walls and overlap with each other, creating a continuous image field that wraps around the room. The sound of white noise permeates as the images alternately emerge and submerge. Indistinct, shifting, and shadowy, the projections become more like memories or internal sensations rather than recorded images of actual places and events.
Also presented will be works from Viola's recent Transfiguration series– a body of work which developed out of his acclaimed Ocean Without a Shore, 2007 installation in the Chapel of San Gallo at the 52nd International Venice Biennale. In these works, which are displayed on plasma screens, black and white images of ghostly figures slowly approach. Eventually each figure comes into focus and breaks through an invisible threshold of water into a world of color and light. After resting there momentarily, they are drawn back through to the other realm. This series brings us to the intersection between life and death and the continuum of that transformation.