Bill Viola‘s art can be compared to an intense dream. One that surrounds us and almost drowns us completely with rolling sound effects and hi-def but extremely slow visions. A dream that keeps your emotions alive in a surreal dimension and leaves you with brand-new sensations when you wake up.
His video installations cannot just be enjoyed on a desktop or on-the-go, but deserve to be a real eyes-and-ears experience in a suitable environment.
That’s why, the new exhibition at Nieuwekerk is a perfect place, evocative and resounding, to experience two of the most jaw-dropping video installation of Bill Viola: Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall) and Fire Woman.
Made both in 2005 for Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde, directed by Peter Sellars, they portray the different voyages of two people through opposite elements, water and fire, like the two characters that love each other but are never destined to be together. Now, at the Nieuwekerk, are part of the Masterpiece spiritual series, which has seen before the exhibitions of The Holy Family by Rembrandt (2011), Andy Warhol’s The Last Supper (2012), and Francis Bacon’s triptych In Memory of George Dyer (2014).
Choose a weekday at opening hours, so you can be alone (or almost) to lay down on cushions, letting the images and sounds literally invade your soul. You’ll want to keep watching in loop, until someone will come to rescue you.
You have time till April 10 and it’s cheaper and better than a yoga lesson!
Nieuwekerk, Dam Square, Amsterdam
28 February – 10 April 2015
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: 8€ (Museumkaart free)