Tuesday, July 10, 2007

52nd Venice International Art Biennale

photograph courtesy Haunch of Venison

Thursday 7th June – Opening San Gallo Church; Bill Viola – Ocean Without a Shore. Bill Viola's major new work was presented at the Biennale, it is entitled Ocean Without a Shore, 2007 (until November 24th), the three-screen High Definition video and sound installation was inspired by it’s setting – the 15th century church of San Gallo. Ocean Without a Shore presents a cyclical progression of images that describes a series of encounters at the intersection between life and death. Located near the Piazza San Marco the church was formerly a private chapel, and Viola directly incorporates the internal architecture into his piece, using the three existing stone altars as video screens. The video sequence describes the human form as it gradually coalesces from within a dark field and slowly comes into view, moving from obscurity into the light. As the figure approaches, it becomes more solid and tangible until it breaks through an invisible threshold and passes into the physical world. The crossing of the threshold is an intense moment of infinite feeling and acute physical awareness.

Seen at the Opening: Bill Viola and Kira Perov. Of the work Viola states “It is about the presence of the dead in our lives. The three stone altars in San Gallo become transparent surfaces for the manifestation of images of the dead attempting to re-enter our world."

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