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Light Work, Urban Video Project announce new location and citywide fall programming

September 08, 2010

Jessica Heckman
(315) 443-1300

Light Work, in collaboration with the Connective Corridor and the Everson Museum of Art, has announced an exciting move for one of the three Urban Video Project (UVP) sites.  This new move to the Everson Museum of Art is made possible by the generous support of Onondaga County and the ongoing support of Time Warner. To launch its fall season and celebrate this exciting venue change, UVP will present two videos by internationally renowned artist and Syracuse University alumnus Bill Viola ‘73 at two of its sites beginning this month.

This change brings the UVP to one of the anchors of the Connective Corridor, and marks a big step toward UVP’s mission and goal of securing its place as an important international venue for the public presentation of video and electronic arts.

Viola’s emotionally charged slow-motion videos address universal themes of birth, death, human suffering and spirituality. He uses slow motion to stretch time, allowing viewers to discover the deeper meanings of the complex image world that slowly unfolds before them. Viola is internationally recognized as one of today’s leading artists. He has been instrumental in the establishment of video as a vital form of contemporary art, and in so doing has helped to greatly expand its scope in terms of technology, content and historical reach.

The Everson Museum site will feature “The Quintet of the Astonished” until Oct. 30. The video shows the unfolding expressions of five actors in such extreme slow motion that every minute detail of their changing facial expressions and movements can be detected. In this piece, Viola explores the cathartic power within grief, personal suffering and bereavement.

Viola’s work often exhibits a painterly quality and “The Quintet of the Astonished” clearly references his interests in medieval and classical depictions of emotion. In 1998, while a scholar in residence at the Getty Research Institute—which that year explored the theme of The Passions—Viola revisited images of medieval and Renaissance painting, frescoes and architecture that had influenced him during his time in Florence, Italy in 1974. Having lost both of his parents by the time he was at the Getty, he found himself drawn to images of devotional art that continue to influence his art today.

On Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m., the UVP, in conjunction with Light Work, the Connective Corridor and the Everson Museum of Art, will host a public presentation by Viola and David Ross. According to Ross, “Bill Viola is that rare artist who employs extraordinary technical mastery in the service of a deeply metaphysical art. Exploring the essential human condition, Viola has long been engaged in the study of time, consciousness and the human spirit. Though not religious in any traditional sense, Viola’s art embraces the idea of art as a path to transcendent experience.”

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a reception in the plaza at the Everson, where Viola’s video will be screened on an outside wall of the museum. The Everson Museum of Art will also have more of Viola’s work on view, curated from its collection.

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