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James Cohan Gallery Shanghai

Exhibition Detail
UNSPOKEN
1/F Building 1, No.1 Lane 170 Yue Yang Road
200031 Shanghai
China


March 9th, 2012 - May 6th, 2012
Opening: 
March 10th, 2012 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
 
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© Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery Shanghai
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> DESCRIPTION

上海James Cohan画廊将荣幸推出享有国际声誉的美国艺术家比尔•维奥拉个人作品展《不可言说》, 展览将从2012年3月9日持续至5月6日。比尔•维奥拉是公认的在录像领域里成就卓越的艺术家,在过去的三十五年多时间里,他在该领域里的成就和贡献推 动着影像艺术成为当代艺术中重要艺术门类之一,极大地发展了影像艺术的规模、创作视野及历史维度。他的创作涵盖了视频录像、富建筑性的影像装置、平板显示 屏作品、声音场域、电子音乐表演,以及为电视广播、剧院及宗教场合创作的作品。他的作品注重普遍的人性体验——出生、死亡、意识的演变——这些都植根于东 西方艺术以及精神传统。作品采用最先进的技术,并以其情感力量、严谨性、朴素直接而著称。

本次展览将为大家展示《变形记》系列中的四件作品,该系列作品源于艺术家2007年的作品《没有彼岸的海洋》,是在当年的威尼斯双年展上为15世纪圣伽罗 大教堂创作的。题目《变形记》指的是一个人或一个物体并非以外界方式而是自身从内部发生转变的时刻。维奥拉曾说过,“自身的转变,通常是源于某种深刻的内 部启示或是一种强烈而明晰的直觉与深不可测的情感,战胜了个体直至有‘一束光’照在他/她身上……有时最深刻的人类体验就像这样发生了,突破意识的外部极 限而产生了。”在维奥拉的《变形记》系列作品中,黑白、飘忽的人影,慢慢从黑暗中显现移动,最终穿过一道水幕进入了色彩和光明的世界。作品中的人物表现出 一系列的情感转变,从惊讶到困惑、恐惧、愤怒,通常还带有一丝留恋,直到最后退至其来处。维奥拉使用老式监控摄像机拍摄模拟颗粒感的模糊影像,与使用高清 摄像机拍摄的清晰影像结合起来,从而给观者带来了晦暗与明晰的交替感——由死而生,并循环往复。展览中来自《变形记》系列的作品为《回归》(2007)、 《安妮卡Anika》(2008)、《遥远的彼岸》(2007)、《梅丽娜》(2008)。

此次展览中的其他作品有《诗歌A》(2005),这是一件三屏视频作品,三个屏幕上的影像共同构成了视觉上的诗歌,与维奥拉作品中的基本主题紧密相连: 土、空气、火与水的元素。图像私密,转换优雅:一个女人单独走过,消失在荒漠中;一棵树如液体般变形为如鲜血般鲜红而强烈的水下场景;第三个屏幕展示了一 名男子从水底深处浮现,月光反射在水的表面,并再一次消失。《暴风雨(习作)》(2005)也是此次展览的作品之一。不同于《变形记》系列关注个体人物或 成对人物,参考莎士比亚戏剧作品及法国画家泰奥多尔•籍里柯的油画作品《梅杜萨之筏》 (1818–1819),《暴风雨》是一件史诗般的作品。正如艺术家所描述的,“来自不同种族不同经济背景的19个男女,突然被一股用高压水管产生的如海 啸般冲击力巨大的水波冲击。有些马上就跌倒了,还有一些则紧紧抱住自己来抵抗这无缘无故的暴雨。水波四溅,他们只能紧紧贴着对方以求生存。接着,水波突然 停止了,剩下了一群饱受痛苦,感到困惑并几乎垮掉的人。然后,人群慢慢恢复,有些人重新感到清醒,有些则开始哭泣,还有一些仍然畏畏缩缩,几乎没有人还有 力气去帮助那些摔倒的人。作品用高速摄像机拍摄,用极慢的动作来展开,显示了光、色彩、人物表情与姿势的细微差别。

此次展览中最早的作品为《不可言说(银与金)》(2001),来自于维奥拉广受赞誉的系列作品《受难记》。艺术家于1998年在盖蒂研究中心担任客座教授 后创作了此系列。投影在金色、银色两块平板显示屏上,《不可言说》由两位表演者演绎着情感状态的变化:喜悦、恐惧,悲伤,愤怒与欣喜若狂。此作品与中世纪 和文艺复兴时期的虔诚神圣的作品有着惊人的相似之处,是对复杂的人类生理与心理状态的极端检验,并因普遍性的主题变得永恒而不朽。从艺术史与宗教传统来 看,金色背景直接指涉了基督圣像画,金色象征着神圣与天国,人类不只是被描绘出来,而是直接存在着,获得了神圣庄严的状态。金色亦涉及伦勃朗油画作品中的 金色光线,尤其是其晚期的自画像。银色背景暗喻基督教的神秘主义与其重要的圣物—圣维洛尼卡的面纱。银色显示屏上的肖像与基督在圣帕中可见的脸部印迹相 似。因此,《不可言说》是关于世俗磨难与精神希望之间的思索。就如维奥拉所说,“艺术具有治愈的功能。屏幕上所展现的只是融入自身的生活一部分,你可以任 意撷取并使用他们。”

从20世纪70年代早期伊始,维奥拉的作品即在国际上频繁展出,并被国际性的美术馆与重要的私人收藏机构所收藏。展览包括:《比尔•维奥拉:装置与影 像》,纽约现代艺术博物馆,纽约,1987;巡回展览《比尔•维奥拉:隐形的画面》,1992-1994,由杜塞道夫美术馆与Kira Perov为其策展。1995年,维奥拉携其作品《掩埋的秘密》代表美国参加了第46届威尼斯双年展。1997年,美国惠特尼美术馆组织了展览《比尔•维 奥拉:25年回顾》,并巡回到美国和欧洲六个美术馆。2002年,《每日一进》,一件五个部分视频循环的“壁画”在德国柏林古根海姆博物馆与美国纽约古根 海姆博物馆展出。2003年,洛杉矶的Getty博物馆举办了展览《比尔•维奥拉:受难记》,后又巡回到伦敦国家美术馆,西班牙马德里La Caxia基金会,堪培拉澳洲国立美术馆。其他重要个展如2006年东京森美术馆;2007年波兰华沙Zacheta国家美术馆;2008年,由Kira Perov策展,在意大利罗马展览馆举办展览《比尔•维奥拉:内部视觉》;2010年1月,他在荷兰提耳堡De Pont美术馆举办展览《亲密作品》。

维奥拉被授予过许多奖项和殊荣,其中包括2011年在东京获得的享有国际声望的日本皇室世界文化奖;1989年John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur 基金奖;1993年Medienkunstpreis;2006年法国政府艺术与文学最高荣誉将军奖章;2009年麻省理工学院Eugene McDermott 艺术奖;2009年Catalonia国际荣誉奖。此外,维奥拉亦拥有数个荣誉博士头衔,1989年他受洛杉矶Getty研究院邀请为客座教授。比尔•奥 维拉与妻子兼事业伙伴Kira Perov生活工作在加利福尼亚。



James Cohan Gallery Shanghai is pleased to present a solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed American artist Bill Viola. The exhibition opens March 9 and runs through May 6, 2012. For over 35 years Bill Viola has been instrumental in the establishment of video as a vital form of contemporary art, greatly expanding its scale, creative scope and historical reach. He has created video films, architectural video installations, flat screen pieces, sound environments, electronic music performances, as well as works for television broadcast, opera, and sacred spaces. His works focus on universal human experiences—birth, death, the unfolding of consciousness—and have roots in both Eastern and Western art as well as spiritual traditions. They employ state-of-the-art technology and are distinguished by their emotional power, precision and direct simplicity.

On view will be several flat-screen pieces from the Transfigurations series that originated with Ocean Without a Shore and was created for the 15th century Church of San Gallo during the Venice Biennale in 2007. The title, Transfigurations, refers to the moment when a person or an object is transformed not by external means but from within. Viola says "the transformation of the Self, usually provoked by a profound inner revelation or an overwhelming sensation of clarity and fathomless emotion, overcomes the individual until literally a 'new light' dawns on him or her… Some of the most profound human experiences occur at times like these, arising at the outer limits of conscious awareness." In Viola's Transfigurations works, black-and-white images of ghostly figures emerge slowly from total darkness eventually passing through a threshold of water into a world of color and light. Reacting with a range of emotions from surprise, to confusion, fear and anger, often with a desire to linger, the figures are finally drawn back through to the other realm. Viola combines images recorded in grainy analog video using an old surveillance camera with those shot in High-Definition video to bring the viewer to the intersection of obscurity and clarity—from death to life—and back again.The works being shown from the Transfigurations series are The Return (2007), Anika (2008), The Far Shore( 2007), Melina (2008).

Other works included in this exhibition are Poem A (2005), a triptych, in which images function as a three-part visual poem incorporating themes fundamental to Viola’s oeuvre: elements of earth, air, fire and water. The images are intimate and transform gracefully: A woman alone slowly walks away and disappears into a desert landscape; a tree fluidly morphs into a blood-red and fiery underwater scene; a third screen evolves from an image of moonlight reflecting off the surface of water in which a male figure emerges from the water’s depths, then disappears once more. Also on view will be the work Tempest (Study for the Raft) (2005). Unlike the Transfigurations series that focus on individual figures or couples, Tempest, with its references to both Shakespeare’s play and also the painting The Raft of the Medusa (1818–1819) by French painter Théodore Géricault, is an epic ensemble piece. As described by Bill Viola, “a group of nineteen men and women from a variety of ethnic and economic backgrounds are suddenly struck by a massive onslaught of water with tsunami-like force from a high-pressure hose. Some are immediately knocked over and others brace themselves against the unprovoked deluge. Water flies everywhere as the group clings to each other for survival. Then, as suddenly as it arrived, the water stops, leaving behind a band of suffering, bewildered, and battered individuals. The group slowly recovers as some regain their senses, others weep, and still others remain cowering, while the few with any strength remaining assist those who have fallen. The work is recorded in high-speed film and unfolds in extreme slow motion to reveal subtle nuances of light, color, and individual expressions and gestures of the figures.”

The earliest work in the exhibition is Unspoken (Silver & Gold) (2001), from Viola’s highly acclaimed series The Passions, created after the artist’s work as a visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute in 1998 . Projected on two panels, one gold and one silver, Unspoken focuses on the range of emotional states--joy, fear, sorrow, anger, and rapture--expressed by two people. There is a striking similarity to devotional and sacred paintings of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance as the work becomes an intense examination of the complex human physical and psychological condition, becoming both timeless and eternal because of its universal theme. Drawing further on the art historical and spiritual, the gold background refers directly to Christian icon paintings in which gold symbolizes the holy and celestial, where a person is not merely depicted but is literally present, attaining sacred status. The gold panel also refers to the golden light in the paintings of Rembrandt and especially to the painter’s late self-portraits. The silver panel alludes to Christian mysticism and one of the crucial relics, the Veil of St. Veronica, which is said to carry the mark of Christ’s face. The portrait on the silver panel bears a resemblance to the imprint of the face of Christ visible on the cloth veil. Thus the Unspoken becomes a compelling meditation on worldly suffering and spiritual hope. As Viola has stated, “Art can have a healing function. What is on the screen can be part of a life process that enters the body, and you can take these things and use them.”

Since the early 1970's, Viola's art works have been exhibited worldwide and are included in the collections of international museums and important private collections. Exhibitions include: Bill Viola: Installations and Videotapes, MoMA, NY, 1987; and the travelling exhibition Bill Viola: Unseen Images, 1992-1994, organized by the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and Kira Perov. Viola represented the U.S. at the 46th Venice Biennale in 1995 with the exhibition Buried Secrets. In 1997 the Whitney Museum organized Bill Viola: A 25-Year Survey that traveled to six museums in the US and Europe. In 2002, Going Forth By Day, a five part video "fresco" cycle was presented at the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin and the Guggenheim, NY. In 2003, The Passions, originated at the J. Paul Getty Museum, CA and traveled to the National Gallery, London; the Fondacion "La Caixa" in Madrid; and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Other important solo exhibitions have been mounted at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo in 2006 and at the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw in 2007. In 2008, Bill Viola: Visioni interiori, a survey exhibition organized by Kira Perov, was presented in Rome at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni. His exhibition Intimate Works was presented at De Pont, Tilburg, Netherlands in January, 2010.

Viola is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, most recently receiving the prestigious Praemium Imperiale Award in Tokyo in 2011. He received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1989; the first Medienkunstpreis in 1993; the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government in 2006; the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts, MIT in 2009; and the 2009 Catalonia International Prize. In addition to several honorary doctorates, Viola was invited to be a visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles in 1998. Bill Viola and Kira Perov, his wife and long-time collaborator, live and work in Long Beach, California.


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