Jo recommended me to see his works, and here comes his exhibition. When I saw his works on youtube I did not feel much, but the exhibition was quite impressive.
It also exhibits some small scale Michelangelo’s sketches, but the main focus is on Bill Viola. His trademark probably human in water, similar effect he uses repetitive in his works, as a metaphor of “Life, Death, Rebirth", which is the title of this exhibiton
The first work “The Messenger" is a guy fall deep into the water, float out to the surface. He opend his eyes promtly as he floats onto the surface, could indicates “rebirth, wake up". The part of the skin is warm and normal skin colour, but when he sinks, it’s light and cold blue colour image. By the deeper he sinks, his image becomes vague, distorted, broken, hard to reconize a shape of a human being. I direcly think of dream and hypnosis. What is our shape while we are in a dream? Is it not whole anymore? is it untouchable? What is the message this messanger want to tell us?
I wept a bit while I was watching the second work. “Nantes Triptych" consists three videos, the first one is a woman giving birth. She spreads her legs and show us her circular belly and genitalia, her partner supports her on her back. This part probably most strongly catches eyes, for it shows physical pain from her moaning and crean. On the right it was an old woman is on her deathbed. The image is quiet, the lens surrounds and seems like observing her. Beside the stressful sound from the mother-to-be, there is stable sound of breathing in the film, probably from the artist’s dying mother. The breathing ends when the mother hold her new born baby, open it’s eyes. These two videos are pretty documentary.
In the between is a person floating and sinking with a sheets ? in deep and dark water (a bit similiar to the previous work). While watchin, I was not sure what’s the meaning of the middle one, I was thinking maybe it could be some time lapse of some people’s ramdon life? Just remind me the ending of “The six feet under" one of my favorite TV serious, it briefly shows the charactor’s continuous life and how they end. Later I found out this work’s statement:
“In between a figure floats, at times calmly and at others in turmoil. It is an ethereal image of life, floating outside of time, suggestive of inner dimensions that are not bound by our mortal, corporeal presence." (Andrea Tarsia)
Slowly Turning Narrative
Personally I quite like this work.
It’s a large and dark room, with some sort of whispers. In the centre of the room there is a spinning monitor and mirror surface on it’s back. There is projector on two sides so the image is projected on the screen in the centre. While the mirror is facing the viewer, the viewer can see themselves clearly, and when it comes to the video, there are some image on it such a black and white human face. I am not sure much about the image means, but when the three colour project on the mirror, there are some beautiful rainbow project on the floor. It is very impressive in present.
This work and “the Sleep of Reason" is one of my favirite, too. It is a set up interior room, and there is a usual bedside carbinet with lamp, clock, vase and a small TV on it.
In the TV, there is a woman sleeping. For few minutes, and the room becomes totally dark and the woman’s image disappears, some images are projected around the room, such as train turnnel, underwater, X-ray for 2 seconds, and everyone comes back to light. It’s like waking up and sinking into subconcious in dream. However, no matter it’s in the dark or light, she is all sleeping, therefore maybe it’s not correct to say it’s wake up and fall in sleep, more it’s like status of sleep and fall in deep sleep, and those fragment it’s like a dream, there’s no logic between each fragment.
This work is consituded by two vertical images, onw man and a woman. They have grief expression, they even drop tears. When they bend their waist their images become distorted. Then we realise the image we see is the reflection of the water. Their tears obscure them. Does “Surrender"shows how they react when they have reach the limitation?
Overall, it’s very impressive exhibition. It looks kind of nothing on streaming, but it has power to watch it in the gallery. He led us to enter a dream.