Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bill Viola Commissioned by St. Paul's Cathederal, London

Bill Viola, Ocean Without a Shore, 2007, 3-channel High Definition
video/sound installation.Installation view by Thierry Bal.
Photography Kira Perov. Copyright Bill Viola and Kira Perov 2009.
Courtesy the artist and Haunch of Venison.

Video seems to be in the news stream today. But this news makes you go, "Well, of course. Who but Viola could pull this one off." Internationally acclaimed artist Bill Viola has been commissioned to create two altarpieces for permanent display in St Paul’s Cathedral. The project will commence production in mid 2009 with completion in early 2011.

Viola is an esteemed video artist, having created imaginative and ground-breaking video installations for over 35 years. The St. Paul's commission is to depict two themes, Mary and Martyrs. Says Viola:
“The two themes of Mary and Martyrs symbolize some of the profound mysteries of human existence. One is concerned with birth and the other with death; one with comfort and creation, the other with suffering and sacrifice. If I am successful, the final pieces will function both as aesthetic objects of contemporary art and as practical objects of traditional contemplation and devotion.”
Viola manages to grasp and relate issues that illuminate the mind and heart in a way that is beyond words. His moving exhibits remind us of our humanity in all its fullness from grief to exhilaration and joy. First one to London in 2011, please, send word.

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