NORTH MIAMI, FL.- The Museum of Contemporary Art
North Miami presents a major exhibition of work by Bill Viola, recognized as one of the leading practitioners of video art. Bill Viola: Liber Insularum begins its sole presentation in the United States at MOCA, North Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach, and will be on view at the museum from December 5, 2012 through March 3, 2013. The exhibition at MOCA marks the first public presentation of Violas new piece Ancestors, a recently completed video work that explores the layers of reality and illusion in the physical world, as well as the dimensions between and beyond it. The exhibition Bill Viola: Liber Insularum is presented as part of MOCAs Knight Exhibition Series. It was first shown last year at Sala de Arte Contemporaneo del Gobierno de Canarias (Spain). The exhibition is organized in collaboration with Bill Viola Studio and is curated by Roc Laseca.
An iconic contemporary artist who draws from Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, Bill Viola is known for creating immersive video installations that explore such universally human subjects as birth, death, and the nature of consciousness. His exhibition at MOCA North Miami is inspired by The Book of the Islands of the Archipelago, authored by the Florentine ecclesiastic Cristoforo Buondelmonti in the 15th century. The works featured in Liber Insularum (The Book of Islands) use this historic text as a reference point to engage with distinctly modern themes of spiritual isolation in a 21st-century global landscape. Many of the works in the exhibition were produced after Violas last retrospective in 1997 at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Bill Violas work has long displayed a concern with the artistic possibilities of emotion, connecting viscerally with the viewer, comments Bonnie Clearwater, MOCA North Miamis Executive Director and Chief Curator. Many artists MOCA North Miami has recently worked with -- Ragnar Kjartansson, Rita Ackermann, Mark Handforth and Tracey Emin --- are similarly demonstrating a strong desire for emotionally-driven art that is expressed without irony or cynicism. These connections, along with MOCA North Miamis commitment to encouraging artistic experimentation and risk-taking, made presenting Bill Violas work a natural fit for us.
Bill Viola was born in Queens, New York in 1951. He received a BFA in Experimental Studies from Syracuse University and later worked at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, one of the first American museums to establish a video art department. As the technical director of production at art/tapes/22, the influential video art studio in Florence, Italy, Viola was part of an emerging generation of 1970s video artists that includes Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, and others. He currently lives and works in Long Beach, California, with his wife and collaborator Kira Perov.
Bill Viola is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1989. His work has been displayed in solo exhibitions at museums around the world including: the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, National Gallery, London, Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, The Art Institute of Chicago; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and many others.