Bill Viola’s video installation “The Greeting” opens in Carmignano, November 22, 2014 at 4pm

Bill Viola: The Greeting

Bill Viola: The Greeting

Video / Sound Installation, 1995, 10:22 min.
Performers: Angela Black, Suzanne Peters, Bonnie Snyder
Photo: Kira Perov

Opens: Saturday, November 22 at 4pm in Carmignano, ITALY

Space Art Alberto Moretti / Schema Polis
Via Borgo 4 – Carmignano (Prato) near the Rectory of St. Michael

The work of Bill Viola returns to Tuscany once again — this time just outside of Florence in Carmignano, where a contemporary masterpiece, The Greeting (1995), will be on view November 22, 2014 – January 6, 2015 at the Spazio D’Arte Alberto Moretti / Schema Polis. Inspired Pontormo’s Visitation, located in the nearby church of San Michael, the video installation can be viewed from Thursday to Sunday, 3-7pm (including holidays). Entrance is free.

THE GREETING was presented for the first time at the International Biennial of Art in Venice in 1995 and today is considered one of the artistic masterpieces of the past decades.

The work of Bill Viola was first brought to Carmignano in 2001, by the Centro Pecci in the Chapel of St. Luke a few meters from Pontormo’s Visitation, which inspired the American artist. Now, on the occasion of the Festa della Toscana 2014, Carmignano again presents the work of the American artist to propose a new dialogue between the historical and the contemporary, to support the universality and relevance of art in this land rich in history and culture.

The work of Bill Viola, built in 1995 in his California studio, was incubated many years earlier, between 1974 and 1976, in an extended stay in Florence, during which he was able to work as a technical director of production for the study of video art, art/tapes/22 directed by Maria Gloria Conti Bicocchi (daughter of the Florentine painter Primo Conti).

Jacopo Pontormo, "Visitation" c. 1529, 20.2 x 15.6 cm. Church of San Francesco e Michele, Carmignano, Italy

Jacopo Pontormo, “Visitation” c. 1529, 20.2 x 15.6 cm. Church of San Francesco e Michele, Carmignano, Italy

In the early seventies, the Galleria Schema in Carmignano pursued an equally radical approach to avant-garde architecture, body and performance art, conceptual art, and art politics. The new presentation in Spazio d’arte Alberto Moretti / Schema polis, seeks to simultaneously promote the cultural work of art that is timeless, as the Visitation, and that of a work of art developed and inserted “in time,” as The Greeting.

In this sense, Bill Viola gives art a vital role in contemporary society, “the artist is the one who can create a bridge between the past, present and future.”

The Greeting  is a work in action of three women, inspired by the Visitation painted by Pontormo, and filmed in one take. It is projected on a screen hung vertically on the wall as a “moving picture”. The event, which lasts a mere 45 seconds, is expanded in the video to compose an extended choreography more than 10 minutes.

According to the American artist: “the introduction of time in the art may be regarded as decisive as the affirmation of perspective by Brunelleschi and the representation of three-dimensional pictorial space.” The frail meeting of two art forms – view and video – is thus established.

Carmignano / Department of Culture
T. 055 8750231

About SACI

SACI is a US non-profit College of Art and Design in Florence, Italy, for undergraduate and graduate students seeking accredited instruction in studio art, design, conservation, art history, and Italian language and culture. Founded in 1975, SACI offers the following programs: Academic Semester/Year Abroad, Summer Studies, Venice Summer Program, Post-Bac in Conservation, MFA in Studio Art, MA in Art History.

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