Thursday, October 13, 2011
Spirit and Medium: The video art of Bill Viola Reflection
In this excerpt, the ideas of the video installation experience for viewers is discussed. Installation is presented as a tool of sorts to make the viewer uncomfortable and to cause them to dismiss their normal reservations of a movie watching experience. While in a video installation, the viewer us forced to stand erect for an elongated period of time, never enabling them to forget where they are and their role in the presentation of the piece. This differs from viewing a film at a movie theatre because the viewer is in the dark and comfortable enough that their presence in that room has the ability to be forgotten. Bill Viola enjoys playing off of the things that normally make people uncomfortable. HE often creates installations in which people are forced to observe things that are not actively sought after to be viewed, such as eye surgery or an extremely dark room in which the most minuscule of features are visible. Another aspect of video installation discussed is the fact that in a gallery space, in oder to have a sufficient understanding of the work, the viewer must stay for a specific amount of time to watch the installation. This differs from the normal manner of observation in museums in that with an artifact of painting, the viewer has the ability to quickly 'gloss over' the art piece presented. Therefore, video installation forces people to pay attention and sow down for a period of time.