In London this autumn, Blain|Southern and The Vinyl Factory present significant rarely-exhibited works from Bill Viola’s early career at 4 Hanover Square and The Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park. The exhibitions illustrate Viola’s boundless experimentation with the newest media of the time, which paved the way for subsequent generations of artists working with video, sound and computer technology.
At Blain|Southern the exhibition focuses on one monumental installation Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier), 1979, shown for the first time since its inauguration at Media Study/Buffalo, New York. With a large body of water, environmental sound recordings and projections, Viola’s multi-faceted yet serene creation was pioneering in its mixed use of media.
In conjunction and presented for the first time ever, recordings of Bill Viola’s early sound compositions form an immersive installation The Talking Drum at The Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park in Soho, London. Two works are featured, The Talking Drum and Hornpipes, both 1979–82, that explore the resonances of an empty swimming pool.
The exhibitions are the latest in one of Bill Viola’s most extensive periods of activity across the UK, which includes the concurrent opening of Bill Viola at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the release by Thames & Hudson of his most comprehensive monograph and the latest leg of the Tate and National Galleries of Scotland touring programme, ARTISTS ROOMS, at The Wilson, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. This follows notable presentations at Auckland Castle and The Line, and the permanent installation of The Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) at St Paul’s Cathedral, London.
Image: Bill Viola, Mt Rainier coffee shop, WA, August 1979, photo Kira Perov.
Bill Viola: Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier), 1979 – Blain|Southern – 13 October to 21 November 2015
Bill Viola: The Talking Drum – The Vinyl Factory Space – 13 October to 7 November 2015