The Canadian Art Database


scotiabank  nuit blanche
Toronto Canada 2009
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Bill Viola
Long Beach California, USA.

These two early works will be presented as a video and audio installation encompassing one of Toronto’s major intersections. For twelve hours the accustomed media advertising viewed on a digital media screen will be replaced by an intervention of video art. Experience the artwork at enhanced viewing stations located at the four corners of this busy intersection.

In The Reflecting Pool, a man emerges from the forest and stands before a pool of water. He leaps up and time suddenly stops. All movement and change in the otherwise still scene is limited to the reflections and undulations on the surface of the pond. Time becomes extended and punctuated by a series of events seen only as reflections in the water. The work describes the emergence of the individual into the natural world, a baptism into a world of virtual images and indirect perceptions.In Ancient of Days, time becomes fluid to describe a world where destruction, runs in reverse, becomes creation, where the larger patterns of changing weather on the face of a mountain unfold within the time of a fleeting human action, and the inexorable winding down of time cycles leads to a muted scene of a still life, where remaining natural change is confined within a picture frame hanging on the wall.

Bill Viola is considered a pioneer in the medium of video art and is internationally recognized as one of today's leading artists. He received his BFA in Experimental Studios from Syracuse University, New York, in 1973 and for 38 years he has created videotapes, architectural video installations, sound environments, electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and single channel videotapes that have been shown in museums and galleries worldwide and are found in many distinguished collections.

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Photo: Above - Bill Viola, The Reflecting Pool,
1977-79, Videotape, colour, mono sound, Photo: Kira Perov

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Photo: Below - Bill Viola, Ancient of Days, 1979-81,
Videotape, colour, stereo sound, Photo: Kira Perov

The Reflecting Pool & Ancient of Days, 1977-81
Video Installation

[ selected photographs ]
A9 - OBN Video Screen (above Canadian Tire entrance)
SE corner of Bay Street & Dundas Street West

Thank you to:
OBN - Outdoor Broadcast Network

Toronto Culture / Soctiabank