Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.
Bill Viola «The City of Man»
Bill Viola, «The City of Man», 1989
Videostill | © Bill Viola

Bill Viola «The City of Man»Bill Viola «The City of Man»Bill Viola «The City of Man»
6*3.6*8 m (W*H*D) | 3 Projektoren, 3 Laserdisks, 3 Laserdisk-Player, 3 Projektionswände; Projektionsfläche 214 x 428 cm. | Archive / Collection: ZKM, Karlsruhe | 3-channel-videoinstallation; 4-channel-audioinstallation

 Bill Viola
«The City of Man»

«This installation incorporates three large projection screens, aligned in the manner of a triptych. The rigour of this altar-like arrangement, with a central ‹panel› and two narrower side ‹wings›, is further emphasized through the addition of brown walnut frames [...].The moving images appearing parallel to each other on the screens are, nonetheless, film recorded and projected in real time. Here, then, Viola‘s use of video clearly draws on both painting and cinema. The content of the three scenes can be divided into the allegorical complex of Paradise, Life on Earth, and Hell [...]. In symbolic images [...] Viola depicts a modern view of the eternal way of the world that unfolds atmospherically in parallel sequences embracing dream and reality and ranging from pastoral to inferno.»

(source: Ursula Frohne in: Heinrich Klotz (ed.), Contemporary Art, exhib. cat., Museum for Contemporary Art/Center of Art and Media, Karlsruhe, 1997, p. 270f.)