Viola's approach became broader and less dependent on technological intervention in the early 1990s. Heaven and Earth shows two videos taken of a woman dying and another woman giving birth, the screens positioned so close that they reflect in one another. Viola's entry for the 46th Venice Biennale continued this more broadly signifying approach: of a set of five works collectively titled Buried Secrets, the last, The Greeting (1995; Basle, Kstmus.), showed a slowed-down staged film of three women meeting, based on Jacopo da Pontormo's Visitation (c1528–9; Carmignano, S Michele). With references to Renaissance painting, the minutely observed, coagulated moment becomes emblematic of a broader time-span of human experience.
Bill Viola: Installations and Videotapes (exh. cat., ed. B. London; New York, MOMA, 1987)
Bill Viola: Slowly Turning Narrative (exh. cat., essays by M. E. Feldman and H. A. Kistler; Philadelphia, PA, ICA; Richmond, VA, Virginia Mus. A., 1992)
Bill Viola: Unseen Images (exh. cat., ed. M. L. Syring; Düsseldorf, Städt. Ksthalle, 1994)
Bill Viola, Stations (exh. cat., essays by M. Heutschel, H. Paflik-Huber and B. Viola; Stuttgart, Würtemburg Kstver,; Los Angeles, CA, Lannon Found., 1996)
Bill Viola (exh. cat., ed. D. A. Ross and P. Sellars; Los Angeles, CA, Co. Mus. A.; New York, Whitney, 1997–8)
10 December 2001
Article provided by Grove Art Online www.groveart.com