Bill Viola at the Walker

In the Bloomberg New Contemporaries this year there was a short video by David Rowland entitled ‘Bill Viola is Rubbish!’ I have to say, I agree! Well, perhaps ‘rubbish’ is a bit harsh, I just find it boring but then I’m bored by most video artwork so what do I know, a lot of people find this really moving.

There are 3 pieces: ‘Observance’ a single screen work which the Walker has purchased; a diptych called ‘Mater’ and a triptych called ‘Witness’ on loan from private collections. When I was there today the triptych had been reduced to a diptych as one of the plasma screens was broken. They all involve people acting out emotions such as fear, joy, horror etc. Viola records them at high speed on 35mm film, transfers to digital and plays back at very slow speed. Because of the high-definition film the action moves very smoothly, none of the stuttering you can get with some slow-mo and the picture and colours are perfectly clear.

So technically, very good, just a shame about the content. You have to see it for yourself though, its down to personal taste and you can admire the technique. Hope they get the broken screen working soon. Link