Parlando: The COC Blog


2012/2013 Artist Basics: Bill Viola

What he's doing with us: As a video artist, he collaborates with legendary director Peter Sellars in our upcoming production of Tristan und Isolde.

Where you might have seen him: His video art for Tristan und Isolde has been seen in Paris, London, and Los Angeles. His artwork has also been exhibited at the MoMA in New York (1987), the Venice Biennale (1995 and 2007), the Whitney Museum of American Art (1997), the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2002), the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the National Gallery in London (2003). He is the winner of a McArthur Fellowship and was awarded the title Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government.

Interviews and profiles: In this video of a speech Viola gave at Otis College of Art and Design in 2009, he shows the video piece "Fire Woman," one of the final images seen in Tristan und Isolde (you might recognize it from the cover of our 2012/2013 brochure), discusses how video and digital media have changed the way we think about art, and gives some advice to the aspiring artists in attendance. In this shorter video segment, Viola talks about how artists must always "ask why."

Tristan und Isolde & Inspiration: In the video below, Heidi McKenzie interviews Bill Viola about his inspiration behind the videos and imagery in Tristan und Isolde, spanning from his experiences as a child to influences from Eastern culture.

Sneak preview: the video below from the London Philharmonia has lots of performance footage from the concert version of the Sellars/Viola Tristan und Isolde. You can get a good sense of the nature of the video work, and hear from the technical director responsible for ensuring it flows smoothly in performance. You can also see some of his non-operatic art online: The Lovers, Acceptance,

Photo of Bill Viola © Kira Perov.

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2012/2013 / comments (0) / permalink

Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001



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