Some thoughts on the summer – No1

Bill Viola At The Grand Palais Paris

Bill Viola At The Grand Palais Paris

There’s been so much happening this summer – good start in Paris in June – Visited the Grand Palais exhibition of Bill Viola .We were there en famille – all 8 of us – so I was apprehensive given the diverse age range of the family and given his work can be quite slow to reach a conclusion of some kind. The films were staged events – mimicking realtime footage in some cases – you asked yourself as a viewer what exactly was the storyline – if any – and what did Bill Viola want from you ? At times the works became an exercise in patience – how far could he push us as an audience – at what point was it enough ?Perhaps this was due to there being so many films ongoing in different galleries – how much of the day did you have to see them?
Visually they were simply beautiful – with dramatic sound tracks – all encompassing – quite something . The scale of production – the acting – the simultaneous storylines alongside one another – the viewer creates the story as the films develop. In the end – the films are linked – actors from one appear in the next – the storylines connect – it was all very clever. We spent an hour and a half there – which was impressive .When we all emerged we looked at each other outside in the sudden brilliant daylight , nodded and went on to find cheese and lunch as one does when in Paris. That’s what Art is I thought – a brief intermission from daily existence – a space to ponder before continuing with the familiar …..

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