The work of Bill VIOLA (born in 1951 in New York) mostly involves video/sound installations and has been highly acclaimed on the international circuit, making him one of the leading artists working in the field of media art. He began working in video in 1972, and not only his videos, but also his more recent video installations. have received high praise in international exhibitions for their enormous scale and imaginative themes.
NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] has in its collection seventeen of VIOLA’s video works spanning the years from 1975 to 1994, some of which are collections of short pieces, and one video documentary. These works, which record microscopic phenomena, employ video technology to manipulate the axes of time and space, highlighting the ambiguities and indeterminacies that exist in the natural world. As works that present an abstracted vision of the world through precise editing of image and sound, they fully exploit the potential of video technology and thus deserve the appellation “video art” in its most literal sense.
VIOLA has also engaged in field work out of an interest in ethnic culture, visiting the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific to record the music and dance of its inhabitants. These anthropological endeavors have also brought him high acclaim in the field of documentary video.
ICC’s exhibition of its VIOLA collection provides an overview of the artist’s career through thirty works produced up to 1994, including his early video works, his field work video «Memories of Ancestral Power (The Moro Movement in the Solomon Islands)» and «Hatsu Yume (First Dream)» made while in residence in Japan.