venerdì 23 ottobre 2015


4 Hanover Square - London
12/10/2015 - 21/11/2015

“The ‘mountain’ is constantly unravelling and reforming. It becomes metaphoric for the existence of the mountain as a conceptual image in the mind. The mountain never moves, only your mind does”.
Bill Viola

In London, this autumn, Blain|Southern and The Vinyl Factory present significant rarely - exhibited works from Bill Viola's early career at 4 Hanover Square and The Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park . The exhibitions illustrate Viola’s boundless experimentation with the newest media of the time, which paved the way for subsequent generations of artists working with video, sound and computer technology.
At Blain|Southern the exhibition focuses on one monumental installation Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier), 1979, shown for the first time since its inauguration at Media Study / Buffalo, New York. With a large body of water, environmental sound recordings and projections, Viola’s multi-faceted yet serene creation was pioneering in its mixed use of media.
Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier) is a landmark in Viola’s meditations on the fragility of nature and our perception of its changes over time. A screen is suspended from the ceiling above a large shallow pool of water. A projector with three separate beams (one each for red, green and blue light) sends an edit of real-time footage of Mount Rainier to the surface of the water, which then bounces up to reach the rear projection screen. At periodic intervals, the water’s surface is disturbed causing the three beams of colour to separate, until finally becoming an unrecognisable pat tern of form and colour. Slowly the water settles, to once more form a coherent image after the surface vibrations subside.
The solid, unmoving, reflected image of a mountain proves to be delicate and impermanent as it disintegrates at slight disturbances on the surface of the water. Presented in the gallery as a stand-alone work, this meditative installation offers a rare moment for mindful focus.
Viola’s spiritual investigations have always been underpinned by a deep scientific underst anding of the neuro-physiological mechanisms of perception. In Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier) he seeks to reveal the fundamental human truths that lie beneath the surface of observable phenomena.

In conjunction and presented for the first time ever, recordings of Bill Viola’s early sound compositions form an immersive installation The Talking Drum at The Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park in Soho, London. Two works are featured, The Talking Dr um , 1979 , and Hornpipes , 1979 – 82, that explore the resonance s of an empty swimming pool.
The works are sonic manifestations of Viola’ s work with physical presence, and a logical development follo wing his early experiments with audio. From 1973 Viola , as part of Composers Inside Electronics , began to experiment with the physical effects of audio on audiences and surrounding spaces, exploring the manipulation of physical sound waves through the addition of electronic playback and modulation. He produced audio effects such as gating which later became a popular fea ture of synthesisers and samplers. These pieces were r ecorded at various sessions in an empty swimming pool at Media Stud y/Buffalo, NY, in 1979 and 1982 and reflect also h is interests in non - western music and religion through the transcendental nature, instrumentation and sonic qualities of each piece. Viola’s ground - breaking work in this field coincided with the rising popularity of electronic music.
Restored by Bill Viola Studio, recordings of these performances are presented together for the first time as a limited vinyl edition of 100, pressed by The Vinyl Factory. The hand numbered edition features two full compositions, The Talking Drum and Hornpipes and an excerpt from a series of experimentation entitled Pulses (Duomo Bells). Reproductions of the original program notes and invitation from a 1979 Composers Inside Electronics performance in Buffalo, NY are also enclosed.
The exhibitions are the latest in one of Bill Viola’s most extensive periods of activity across the UK, which includes the concurrent opening of Bill Viola at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the release by Thames & Hudson of his most comprehensive monograph and the latest leg of the Tate and National Galleries of Scotland touring programme, ARTIST ROOMS, at The Wilson, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire . This follows notable presentations at Auckland Castle and The Line, and the permanent installation of The Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), 2014, at St Paul’s Cathedral, London.