|Emergence by Bill Viola (2002)|
Two "little masterpieces" by a young Carpaccio were recently attributed after sitting for nearly two centuries in storage.
|Madonna and Child by Vittore Carpaccio (1487 ca.)|
|Pietà by Vittore Carpaccio (1488-90 ca.)|
|Eternal Return by Bill Viola (2000)|
Then, a contemporary artist is invited to exhibit, inspired by the classic work. To complement Carpaccio, the invited artist was the American contemporary video artist, Bill Viola.
Bill Viola happens to be my absolute-most-favorite-male-contemporary-artist-ever -- I think he is a genius -- and Carpaccio is, well, Carpaccio, so it was an enormous thrill to sit and enjoy these two artists who are separated by the centuries in the here and now... in the same space and time...
Hervé Mikaeloff: You refer to the theme of the Pietà in your video called Emergence. What are your sources of inspiration? Can we see it as a reminiscence of the Pietà by Carpaccio?
Bill Viola: Emergence came from my fascination with the early Renaissance, and artists like Paolo Uccello, Luca Signorelli, Masaccio and Masolino da Panicale. At that time, I was especially taken by Masolin's Pieta in Empoli. Christ's figure is half risen out of his tomb, supported by his mother Mary and John the Evangelist.
My idea for Emergence was to create an extended vigil for the two women waiting by the tomb. I wanted the scene to transform from their vigil, to a Resurrection, then to an Ascension, which soon becomes a Birth as water flows out onto the ground, and finally takes the form of a Pietà and Lamentation as the two Marys grieve their loss. But I feel that this is not the end of the story.
In Emergence, I tried to express that when we think all is lost and empty, the Christ figure, or someone like him, rises up seeming to ascend to Heaven, but, in fact, he deliberately falls back to earth in order to help relieve the suffering of all human beings and creatures. This is the time for us to re-connect with the earth, with nature, and the people who we care about most. I think Emergence relates very well to Carpaccio's Pietà.
Hervé Mikaeloff: Why did you use slow motion in your works?
Bill Viola: I use slow motion so that I can see more deeply into the fabric of space and time, and especially our Souls.
Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog
January 24 to May 25, 2014
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All photos of the work of Bill Viola: 2014©Bill Viola and Kira Pervo
All photos of the paintings of Carpaccio © Fondazione Mu.Ve.-Venezia/Antonio Bigolin restauratore-Quinto di Treviso