Bill Viola

Frustrated Actions and Futile Gestures

Frustrated Actions and Futile Gestures is a museum-scale exhibition of nine new works by the internationally renowned, pioneering video artist Bill Viola. Created between 2012 and 2013, both on location and in the artist’s studio in Southern California, the exhibition presents three distinct bodies of works: the Frustrated Actions, the Mirage and the Water Portraits series.

Through these works, Viola engages with complex aspects of human experience, including mortality, transience and our persistent, yet ultimately futile attempts to truly and objectively understand ourselves and the meaning of our brief lives.

For over 40 years, Viola’s practice has continuously transformed our understanding of video as an artform, expanding its technological scope and historical relevance. He draws from a range of influences, including Eastern and Western art and the spiritual traditions of Zen Buddhism, Islamic Sufism and Christian mysticism, to express fundamental truths underpinning human existence.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition at Blain|Southern, London, 5 June – 27 July 2013.

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