Bill Viola

Bill Viola is a world renowned artist who has done extremely influential video and installation work. Having graduated with a BFA in Experimental Studios from Syracuse University in 1973, Viola has worked to push his work and technology to their limits. Viola was one of the first artist of the film medium to gain great success, and because of that his works are known world-wide. Viola has pioneered works in video art. This includes works with specific meaning and symbolism, not just an entertaining anecdote. Some of his works include, “Reflecting Pool” and “Anthem”. I exemplify these two specifically because in each, Viola transforms and distorts picture and sound almost independently from each other. In Reflecting Pool, a figure comes to a reflecting pool where he a some point disappears, leaving behind his reflection. In Anthem however, Viola distorts and elongates the scream of an elven year old girl, leaving a chilling feeling that accompany the otherwise silent film clips. I think Viola is definitely note-worthy based on his accomplishments, grants, and exhibitions alone, without even seeing his work. Although, after seeing some of Viola’s work I can see why he is so famous. It is hard to represent his work as a whole, though I would describe it as state-of-the-art. I mean that for most of his film’s time, i.e. the 70’s and 80’s. His work is simply amazing, and for those of you who have not seen some of Bill Viola’s pieces, I strongly recommend it.

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