Bill Viola (b. 1951) is recognized around the world as a major figure in video art. Many believe he is the most important artist working in video today. With tapes of remarkable visual and aural beauty, poetic resonance and technical virtuosity, Viola has virtually defined the state of the art for more than three decades and has given the young tradition at least a score of its acknowledged masterpieces. There can be no serious center of film/video studies in the western world and Japan that has not exhibited his work, and his influence on his contemporaries, and the new generation of video artists in the United States in incalculable. This collection contains four of Viola's most acclaimed videotapes—which means they are among the most famous and widely seen works in the history of video art. These "allegories in the language of subjective perception" illustrate the broad range of invention and technique that Viola brings to bear upon his singular vision of being in the world. Each is structured around a solitary movement, moment or phenomenon through which Viola explores the nature of video, the categories of perception, the cognitive and spiritual inner life of the witness. Compounded of many resonances, each level of meaning interwoven with myriad others, these exquisite "visual songs" give us the elegant music of the poet's voice. They not only allow but demand repeated viewing so that their full richness and significance can unfold in the mind's eye, transforming us as all true poetry does.
Short Visual Songs Comprise: - Migration (1976) - The Reflecting Pool (1977) - Ancient of Days (1979) - Chott-el-djerid (A Portrait in Light and Heat) (1979)