The Hermitage Theatre
© Bill Viola, Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), 2014
The State Hermitage Museum
St Petersburg PRO ARTE Foundation
Supported by the Consulate General of the USA in St. Petersburg
The State Hermitage Museum 250-th anniversary program
Bill Viola and Kira Perov: classical and contemporary.
Works from the last decade.
The Hermitage Theatre
St Petersburg, 34 Dvortsovaya emb.
At 2 PM on the 9th November, 2014
On November 9th 2014, at 2 p.m. the Hermitage Theatre will host a talk with the world famous artist Bill Viola and Kira Perov, his wife and executive director of Bill Viola Studio.
Bill Viola is internationally recognized as one of today’s leading artists. He has been instrumental in the establishment of video as a vital form of contemporary art, and in so doing has helped to greatly expand its scope in terms of technology, content, and historical reach. For 40 years he has created videotapes, architectural video installations, sound environments, electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and works for television broadcast. Viola’s video installations—total environments that envelop the viewer in image and sound—employ state-of-the-art technologies and are distinguished by their precision and direct simplicity. They are shown in museums and galleries worldwide and are found in many distinguished collections. His single channel videotapes have been widely broadcast and presented cinematically, while his writings have been extensively published, and translated for international readers. Viola uses video to explore the phenomena of sense perception as an avenue to self-knowledge. His works focus on universal human experiences—birth, death, the unfolding of consciousness—and have roots in both Eastern and Western art as well as spiritual traditions, including Zen Buddhism, Islamic Sufism, and Christian mysticism. Using the inner language of subjective thoughts and collective memories, his videos communicate to a wide audience, allowing viewers to experience the work directly, and in their own personal way.
Kira Perov is executive director of Bill Viola Studio. She has worked closely with Bill Viola, her husband and partner since 1978, managing, creatively guiding and assisting with the production of all his videotapes and installations. With her knowledge of photography and video, she has also documented their working process on location and in the studio and amassed a large archive of images from their experiences together, as well as images of videotapes and installations. She has worked on the cutting edge with printers to translate the moving images of video onto paper in stills and frame grabs, encouraging experimentation of printing techniques.
The meeting with artists held by the Hermitage Theatre will be an open-talk event. Bill Viola and Kira Perov will present video installations inspired by masterpieces of the European Renaissance paintings, giving a unique opportunity for the participants to hear artists’ comments and attend a Q&A session. Fragments of the following pieces will be demonstrated: Emergence (2002), Fire Woman (2005), Tristan's Ascension (2005), The Encounter (2013), Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), 2014.
This is the artist's second visit to St. Petersburg. In 2003 the State Hermitage Museum and the PRO ARTE Foundation for the first time brought Viola's The Greeting (1995) to Russia and presented it to the public. After that in 2009 Viola's The Quintet of Remembrance (2000) was exhibited by the PRO ARTE Foundation at the Peter and Paul Fortress. In 2008 Bill Viola and Kira Perov paid a visit to St. Petersburg to attend the premiere of Tristan and Isolde, an opera production at the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall featuring Viola's video art.
Activity Type :
PROJECTS WITH THE HERMITAGE