press release

This is the first such extensive exhibition in Poland of an artist who is both a precursor and one of the most important artists active today in the field of video art. In the course of over 35 years, has created a great number of ground-breaking works that incite deep contemplation and are compellingly engaging on a visual, auditive, intellectual and emotional level. In these works, the artist explores universal exeriences and conditions: birth, death and the developement of consciousness inspired by the many-century traditions of art from both West and East and the spiritual heritage of Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. 9 films from recent years will be presented in the exhibition at Zachęta. Some of the films are psychological studies of emotions expressed through the language of the body and facial expressions modelled on religious painting from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (The Greeting, 1995, The Quintet of the Astonished, 2000) or an investigation of the dramas experienced by the contemporary human in relation to such events as the tragedy of 11th September in New York (Observance, 2002). The context of life and death and its symbolic sources are represented in such outstanding works as The Crossing (1996) and Ascension (2000). Thanks to their intertwining of individual content with collective memory rooted in the artistic and spiritual past, Viola's works take on a timeless quality.

Curator Maria Brewińska

only in german

Bill Viola
Kurator: Maria Brewinska