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"Bill Viola: Installations"
2009-01-09 until 2009-02-21
Haunch of Venison, Berlin
Berlin, , DE Germany

Haunch of Venison Berlin will this winter present of a series of works from the internationally renowned US artist Bill Viola, in his first solo exhibition in Berlin in six years. The exhibition includes the large-scale video/sound installation The Messenger (1996) originally commissioned for Durham Cathedral by the Chaplaincy to the Arts and Recreation, North East England. It depicts the continual rising and sinking of a male figure as he slowly journeys between a blue-black underwater realm and the bright daylight of the world above its surface.

New works will also be presented from the Transfigurations series–a cyclical progression of images that describe a series of encounters at the intersection between life and death. The first in this series was the three channel installation Ocean Without a Shore (2007) created for the 52nd Venice Biennale. In Berlin the works shown will be single and multiple channel pieces, with one piece, Small Saints (2008), using six tiny OLED screens, a new technology with special luminance.

During the 59th Berlin International Film Festival, Berlinale, two early video films will be screened in the main space of the gallery as part of Forum expanded. Hatsu-Yume (First Dream) (1981, 57 minutes) is structured on the cycle of one day, images gradually moving from light into darkness, presenting a visual journey through the landscape of Japan from the rural areas of the far North to the underworld night time scenes of the streets of modern Tokyo.

The Passing (1991, 54 minutes) is a personal response by the artist to the spiritual extremes of birth and death in his family. Black and white nocturnal imagery and underwater scenes depict a twilight environment hovering on the borders of human perception and consciousness.

For over 35 years, the work of Bill Viola has focused on universal human experiences. Viola is renowned for creating installations, videotapes and sound performances that present manifestations of the human form undergoing various states of transformation and renewal. His work has been instrumental in the establishment and development of video as a contemporary artistic practice, while his writings and lectures have disseminated his ideas to a wide international audience. Viola continues to break new ground, both technologically and aesthetically, and has inspired a generation of media artists and filmmakers.


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