8 June - 15 July 2017

BAZIS contemporary

CENTRUL DE INTERES, Fabricii de Chibrituri street, 9, 4th floor, Cluj-Napoca



Curator: Gabor Gulyas


Bill Viola (1951) American artist is a real creator of school for video arts. His work of life is a comprehensive experiment to dismantle the borders between painting and cinema. In the past four decades he had more than eighty monumental solo shows – in MoMA New York, Modern Arts Museum Stockholm, National Gallery London, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Venice Biennale and in Grand Palais Paris among others.
Bill Viola`s topics are related to basic experiences of human life, to feelings and to the functioning of the mind – many times using as point of start masterpieces of painting and iconographic toposes.
The exhibition space in which the works are presented emanates transcendent atmosphere, the characters are walking in an almost metaphysical environment, and their relation to each other is changing continuously, although very slowly. There is no compression, no summary, the story is not told: there is only happening, the viewer can identify himself/herself with, as he/she would be a real time contemplator.      
The work Walking on the Edge (2012) evokes the complex relation between two men, perhaps father and son: the paths are parallel and separation is inevitable. The work Encounter (2012) shows two women on their own way, later their encounter, which, although very short in time, allows them to pass the accumulated experiences to each other. The topic of the work Ancestors (2012) is a march through the desert: mother and son are walking in the hot sand, through a dust storm, unwaveringly, toward innocence, maybe to a desired and expected better world.
The story is not outlined: there is only happening. The presented simple events are suggesting complex structures of relations. The monotony of marching is strained by turbulent interior contents, but we have no information about the psychic condition of the characters: we only have presumptions, we exteriorize our own feelings. The landscape, that dominates most of the screens` surfaces, remains strange, because we cannot see it through the classic perspective: time to time depth and height abute. The desert dunes recall the waves of the sea: the environment, in which people are moving in choreographed way, is out of control, unstable. And beautiful. From all these elements is borning the artistic experience of sublime, that projects an unattainable world ahead, an escape from our scarce, everyday existence, that raises desire and thrill at the same time. In this aesthetically and emotionally overfilled space each movement is symbolic. The path covered by each character is unavoidably decoded as the way of human life. The elaborated interpretation context permits the viewer to experience these simple happenings, and offers the possibility of a cathartic encounte


Opening event
Opening event
Opening event

Bill Viola, Walking on the Edge, 2012,
Color high-definition video on plasma display mounted on wall,
92.5 x 155.5 x 12.7 cm, 12:33 minutes
Performers: Kwesi Dei, Darrow Igus
Photo: Kira Perov

Bill Viola, Ancestors, 2012,
Color high-definition video on plasma display mounted on wall,
155,5 x 92,5 x 12.7 cm, 21:41 minutes
Performers: Kwesi Dei, Sharon Ferguson
Photo: Kira Perov
Bill Viola, The Encounter , 2012,
Color high-definition video on plasma display mounted on wall,
92,5 x 155,5 x 12.7 cm, 19:19 minutes
Performers: Genevieve Anderson, Joan Chodorow
Photo: Kira Perov