Blain|Southern: BILL VIOLA, Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier), 1979
and KISHIO SUGA, Perimeter (Entai), 1985 - 13 Oct 2015 to 21 Nov 2015
Bill Viola, Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier), 1979
13 October 2015 – 21 November 2015
BILL VIOLA | MOVING STILLNESS (MT. RAINIER), 1979
13 October 2015 – 21 November 2015 London
Opening this week, Blain|Southern presents significant rarely-exhibited works from Bill Viola's early career. The exhibition illustrates Viola’s boundless experimentation with the newest media of the time, which paved the way for subsequent generations of artists working with video, sound and computer technology.
The exhibition focusses on one monumental installation Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier), 1979, shown for the first time since its inauguration at Media Study/Buffalo, New York. With a large body of water, environmental sound recordings and projections, Viola’s multi-faceted yet serene creation was pioneering in its mixed use of media.
Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier) is a landmark in Viola’s meditations on the fragility of nature and our perception of its changes over time. A screen is suspended from the ceiling above a large shallow pool of water. A projector with three separate beams (one each for red, green and blue light) sends an edit of real-time footage of Mount Rainier to the surface of the water, which then bounces up to reach the rear projection screen. At periodic intervals, the water’s surface is disturbed causing the three beams of colour to separate, until finally becoming an unrecognisable pattern of form and colour. Slowly the water settles, to once more form a coherent image after the surface vibrations subside.
The solid, unmoving, reflected image of a mountain proves to be delicate and impermanent as it disintegrates at slight disturbances on the surface of the water. Presented in the gallery as a stand-alone work, this meditative installation offers a rare moment for mindful focus.
In conjunction and presented for the first time ever, recordings of Bill Viola’s early sound compositions form an immersive installation at The Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park. Two works are featured, The Talking Drum and Hornpipes, both 1979–82, that explore the resonances of an empty swimming pool.
In conjunction and presented for the first time ever, recordings of Bill Viola’s early sound compositions form an immersive installation The Talking Drum at The Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park in Soho, London. Two works are featured, The Talking Drum, 1979, and Hornpipes, 1979–82, that explore the resonances of an empty swimming pool.
Restored by Bill Viola Studio, recordings of these performances are presented together for the first time as a limited vinyl edition of 100, pressed by The Vinyl Factory. The hand numbered edition features two full compositions, The Talking Drum and Hornpipes and an excerpt from a series of experimentation entitled Pulses (Duomo Bells). Reproductions of the original program notes and invitation from a 1979 Composers Inside Electronics performance in Buffalo, NY are also enclosed.
The exhibitions are the latest in one of Bill Viola’s most extensive periods of activity across the UK, which includes the concurrent opening of Bill Viola at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the release by Thames & Hudson of his most comprehensive monograph and the latest leg of the Tate and National Galleries of Scotland touring programme, ARTIST ROOMS, at The Wilson, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. This follows notable presentations at Auckland Castle and The Line, and the permanent installation of The Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), 2014, at St Paul’s Cathedral, London.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s presentation is the artist’s most extensive exhibition in the UK for over 10 years. The immersive exhibition in the Chapel and Underground Gallery features installations from the last 20 years of Viola’s career and premieres a new work, The Trial. The exhibition runs until 16th April 2016.
KISHIO SUGA | PERIMETER (ENTAI), 1985
13 October 2015 – 21 November 2015
Blain|Southern announces its first exhibition with Kishio Suga, one of Japan’s leading contemporary artists and a key figure in the Mono-ha (School of Things) movement.
Rising to prominence in the mid-1960s, Suga and other Mono-ha artists eschewed traditional representation and instead explored quotidian materials; investigating the relationship between them and their impact on surrounding spaces. The movement grew both in response to the rapid industrialisation of Japan and also as a reaction to the dominant influences of western art history.
On show at Blain|Southern is the installation Perimeter (Entai), 1985, a significant piece in the artist’s on-going examination of the notion of boundaries. Encircling the space with a perimeter of wood and stone, the artist explores the interaction between the physical realm of objects and the emotional world of the viewer. He aims to reveal universal truths through the paradox of simultaneously dividing and connecting.
“To see the hidden reality of mono is to understand the structure of the world.”
Perimeter (Entai) was conceived to be adaptable to any space in which it is presented by the artist. Whether in a man-made interior or within the natural environment, the location defines the configuration of the installation yet its inherent meaning remains intact. Outdoors, the work responds to variations in the natural environment, whereas indoors it responds to the characteristics of the room. Through the continuity achieved by linking the stone and wooden elements, it transforms an ordinary space into a specific site.
“I constructed Installation pieces, a format that has become quite common today, inside the galleries. I bring a variety of things into the gallery, arranging them and giving them structure so that they occupy the entire space. The Installations are never permanent and can be quickly disassembled or demolished. One might say that I create temporary worlds.”
-Kishio Suga, The Conditions Surrounding an Act.
In parallel to his art making, Suga also engages in written criticism of his own work, in an effort to objectify the physical creative process through language.
Suga's most recent exhibitions include a solo show earlier this year at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo yet the artist has rarely exhibited in Europe.