Bill Viola – the world’s leading figure in contemporary video art - exhibited, ‘The Fall into Paradise’ at The Public in July-October 2010.
The American artist has been instrumental in the establishment of video as a vital form of contemporary art, and in doing so has helped to greatly expand its scope in terms of technology, content, and historical reach.
Viola’s video installations - submersive environments that envelop the viewer in image and sound - employ state-of-the-art technologies and are distinguished by their precision and direct simplicity. Using the inner language of subjective thoughts and collective memories, his videos communicate to a wide audience, allowing viewers to experience the work directly, and in their own personal way.
‘The Fall into Paradise’ is part of a series created for Wagner’s opera Tristan and Isolde, set to be premiered at Symphony Hall Birmingham on Thursday 23 September. Viola’s film projections feature as a backdrop as the opera unfolds.
In ‘The Fall into Paradise’, Tristan and Isolde - the two legendary lovers - experience such depth of feeling that the material world becomes unbearable for them. Their love simply cannot be contained in flesh and blood and their spirits drift into the void, finally erupting into a new space.
Viola’s ten minute film visualises this transformation from material to spiritual being. Commencing from a tiny speck of light which slowly expands and evolves into a male and female form, the couple, after encircling one another, are propelled into another world in a portrayal of mesmerising beauty.
The exhibition which runs from Wednesday 21 July to Sunday 17 October, Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm. is free to visit and is expected to attract from around the region.
For more information about all events and exhibitions at The Public call the box office on 0121 533 7161.