American Bill Viola (b. 1951) is one of the most acclaimed video and installation artists of our time. Over the course of his forty-five-year career, Viola has created an emotionally expressive body of work informed by art history, culture and religion. His works explore key themes of human existence: birth, life and death, and spirituality.
In the subterranean exhibition rooms of Amos Rex, Viola’s artistic register is on full display. Bill Viola: Inner Journey presents twelve works from the artist’s later period 1994–2015 and the video game The Night Journey, a collaboration between Bill Viola Studio and USC Game Innovation Lab. Alongside large immersive projections, the exhibition features serene installations of people lying submerged in water, intense expressions of spiritual rebirth, as well as smaller, intimate works that portray emotions and inner states.
Metaphors of journeying and water recur throughout the exhibition. Viola often refers to life as an endless journey. Moving through darkened exhibition spaces, you encounter evocative works that express and ponder different layers of consciousness and stages of human life, and what it means to exist and to have existed. Viola uses metaphors and visual language such as light and darkness, water and fire, to create open-ended works that reach towards the unknown, bringing visitors into a personal, reflective experience.
The exhibition is curated by Amos Rex’s Senior Curator Itha O’Neill.