Bill Viola: The Passions

Bill Viola: The Passions

by Bill Viola, Hans Belting

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
The Passions manages to give a sense of his recent work's visceral emotional power in the form of still reproductions in a book. More precisely, The Passions is the catalog to a show that appeared at the Getty Museum of Art earlier this year and now is at the National Gallery in London through Jan. 4. The book capably documents 20 video works that Viola has made in the last three years. A few are wall-size projections that required Hollywood-style production, but the most novel use flat-panel screens to present, in ultra-slow motion, actors as they express emotions like joy, sorrow, anger and fear. — Andy Grundberg
Library Journal
Presenting a wonderful opportunity to observe artist and museum collaborate, Bill Viola: The Passions catalogs an exhibition born of this pioneering video artist's involvement in the Getty's scholars-in-residence program on the theme of the passions. As visiting scholar, Viola studied medieval and Renaissance art depicting passionate emotions, closely observing artists' representations of facial expression and body language. He then worked with actors to develop pieces influenced by the art he had studied, making use of close-up and extreme slow motion to emphasize gesture and using state-of-the-art plasma screens for their clarity. The result was The Passions, a series of 20 video works presented in this beautifully designed book through sequential images, foldouts, and other attractive design features. Included are an excellent essay by the exhibition's curator, John Walsh; an interview with Viola by art historian/media theorist Hans Belting; frame sequences from each of the Passions pieces, with the artist's descriptions; the artist's handwritten notes; and a Viola chronology, exhibition listing, and bibliography. Recommended for libraries collecting in contemporary art or curatorial studies. Representing the Passions is a collection of essays written under the auspices of the Getty's scholar-in-residence program and addressing the theme of the passions, with a few pages dedicated to Viola's work. Included are essays encompassing the visual arts, music, history, linguistics, and technology, often within the context of 17th- and 18th-century European culture. The cross-disciplinary contributors include Martha Feldman, Teresa McKenna, and Horst Bredekamp. The essays address "a social need to name and represent the passions" and explore how literature, music, philosophy, and visual culture serve as reference points for our understanding of the passions. The methodology draws from the field of cultural studies; the content is fascinating and demanding. Best suited for libraries serving scholars and advanced students in art history, visual studies, and cultural studies.-Michael Dashkin, PricewaterhouseCoopers, New York Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Getty Publications
Publication date:
Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum Series
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.90(d)

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