Running until 21 November, the London branch of Blain|Southern is offering viewers the opportunity to see rarely exhibited work by leading video artist Bill Viola. The artist’s stand-alone piece created in 1979, Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier), is a poetic combination of film, projections, light and water, and has been sanctioned by many as a trailblazer for future generations of video-art and its capabilities. The innovative piece of film/installation is being shown to the public for the first time since its debut at the Media Study/Buffalo in New York. Through the exhibition’s focus on this, one of Viola’s earlier works, the showcase at Blain|Southern is a testament to how much the artist has developed and grown since the 1970s, with his screens, spaces and projections all growing in size over the years.
Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier) is a contemplation on the fragility of nature and our perceptions of its changes over time. A shallow pool of water lies beneath a suspended screen, a projector with blue, green and red sends real-time footage of Mt. Rainier to the surface of the water. Every so often the pool of water is slightly disturbed, which completely obliterates the image of the mountain. The installation seeks to unravel our associations with time versus nature. We assume that features of the Earth such as mountains are a static certainty, yet the occasional interruptions of this image over time reminds us that nothing is impermanent.
In collaboration with Blain|Southern, The Vinyl Factory Space is also showcasing some of Viola’s early work at Brewer Street Car Park in Soho, London. The two pieces featured are The Talking Drum 1979 and Hornpipes 1979-1982. Both works are early audio manifestations that explore the physical effects of sound on an audience. The Vinyl Factory will be making 100 limited editions of the performances which are presented together for the first time.
Bill Viola, Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier), until 21 November, Blain|Southern, London.
Find out more: www.blainsouthern.com.
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1. Bill Viola | Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier), 1979. Courtesy of Blain|Southern.