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Bill Viola «The Threshold»
Bill Viola, «The Threshold», 1992
Videostill | © Bill Viola

Bill Viola «The Threshold»Bill Viola «The Threshold»Bill Viola «The Threshold»Bill Viola «The Threshold» | play videoBill Viola «The Threshold» | play videoBill Viola «The Threshold» | play video
United States | 5*5*7.5 m (W*H*D) | 9 Laserdisks, 3 Videoprojektoren, 3 Laserdisk-Player, 2 LCD-Laufschriftanzeigen, Verbindung zu einer Nachrichtenagentur. | Archive / Collection: ZKM, Karlsruhe | 3-channel-videoinstallation; 2-channel-audioinstallation

 Bill Viola
«The Threshold»

«In this installation Bill Viola is concerned with making the spectator aware of the connections between body and mind, contemplation and action, inner and outer reality. Creating a space with very distinct inner and outer aspects, he establishes a threshold sitzation, in which the moment of crossing from one symbolic reality into another becomes the central event in the spectator‘s experience and the principal object of his consciousness. [...] The spectator has to pass through the silent, but optically very ‹loud› electronic flow of data, in order to reach a dark space. Here, he will find himself confronted by the vast, blurred images of the heads and upper torsos of three sleeping figures, projected on to three of the inner walls. [...] As the spectator observes the sleepers‘ deep self-absorption, he is drawn toward a state of meditative immersion in his own being. The threshold between outer and inner contemplation is thus crossed, and this passage is both enacted and comprehended in a consummately spatial form. [...] Both realms are ubiquitous in their own way; and, for Bill Viola, each is also, in the truest sense of the word, the vanishing point of a metapysical horizon.»

(source: Ursula Frohne in: Heinrich Klotz (ed.), Contemporary Art, exhib. cat., Museum for Contemporary Art/Center of Art and Media, Karlsruhe, 1997, p. 273f.)