Borusan Contemporary opens Bill Viola exhibition on digital
Borusan Contemporary opens Bill Viola exhibition on digital
As April 15, World Art Day, which was celebrated at home as part of global epidemic measures this year, Borusan Contemporary opened its annual “Bill Viola: Impermanent” exhibition on Google Arts & Culture platform.

Art viewers can visit Borusan Contemporary through the Google Arts & Culture platform, see the exhibition areas, and examine the works to get detailed information about the artist’s production. Art lovers can also follow articles and interviews on guest curators, collection artists and works in the collection through Borusan Contemporary Blog. “Bill Viola: Impermanent” features works from different phases of the artist’s oeuvre, including works from the early years, to delve deeply into the world renowned artist’s practice.

Viola’s ‘invisible world’

Viola has been investigating the mysteries of the human condition for more than 40 years, employing video technology as a medium that during those decades evolved at a rapid pace. Each work seduces us with its hint of a grand narrative at work, a promise to reveal to us something we don’t already know about birth, death, fear, desire, or reality. Certainly, the works are enigmatic, but with their lush visual clarity, and with the presence of humans and human agency, with some conflict being confronted, the viewers feel compelled to search for the story.



The works are like koans with their narratives—classic Buddhist riddles that are unresolvable, inviting us to experience a glimpse of what Viola calls the “invisible world” where our standard intellectual configurations of existence are revealed to be artificial.

Viola’s work has been shown worldwide and the artist has received numerous awards for his achievements, including a U.S./Japan Creative Artist Fellowship (1980), the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1989), XXI Catalonia International Prize (2009), and the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association (2011). His works have roots in both Eastern and Western art as well as spiritual traditions, including Zen Buddhism, Islamic Sufism, and Christian mysticism. In the exhibition, curated by Kathleen Forde, there are themes that run throughout all 10 works: Immersion, transformation, a confrontation with basic elements of air, and water. That last one is among Viola’s most powerful motifs. In works such as “Ascension and The Raft” water is a force the human figures struggle with and are controlled by; while in other works, such as “Madison and Sharon,” the immersion in water is a peaceful, perhaps edenic experience, a connection to the dream state. Chott el-Djerid, a much earlier video from 1979, addresses the question of perception, and serves to underpin the connective strands of the later pieces. Subtitled “A Portrait in Light and Heat,” it considers the phenomenon of a desert mirage, the dry Saharan lake of the title, and features the near-whiteout of a winter prairie landscape.
The exhibition, which will continue until Sept. 13, is available on the link here
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