Indianapolis Museum of Art to Present Captivating Works by Video Pioneer Bill Viola

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Free exhibit opens in Indianapolis on Sept. 26.

Visitors will be mesmerized by the power of it all.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art announced today an exhibition of works by the world-renowned video pioneer Bill Viola.

Bill Viola: Capturing Spectacle and Passion will feature two works by the acclaimed video artist. On loan from the Dallas Museum of Art, The Crossing (1996) consists of a double-sided screen with two videos simultaneously projected—one featuring a man being engulfed in flames, the other a man consumed by water. The 12-minute spectacle confronts the eternal cycle of life, death and the hope of rebirth.

Also on display is The Quintet of the Silent (2001), a work from the IMA’s contemporary collection. The video shows five men depicting various emotions in slow motion, allowing the viewer to witness the evolution and complexity of each feeling.

“I am thrilled to have The Crossing on loan from my former museum to share with Indianapolis,” Venable said. “When I first saw the video I was totally astounded. The imagery of fire and water glowing in the darkness and the sound of destruction rumbling through the space produces a truly transformative experience. Visitors will be mesmerized by the power of it all.“

A pioneer of video art, Viola has been working with the medium since the early 1970s. His brilliant video installations explore timeless themes of human existence with his signature slow motion style. Describing his work as a “slowly unfolding ballet,” Viola reveals the hidden beauty found in moments, allowing viewers to carefully examine and reflect on the action occurring.

“Viola’s impact on the development of video art is immeasurable,” said Tricia Y. Paik, the IMA’s curator of contemporary art. “He continues to expand new media practices in engaging and innovative ways while staying firmly committed to exploring what it means to be human, by tackling timeless and complex themes such as life and death, joy and sorrow.”

The exhibit opens Sept. 26 in the June M. McCormack Forefront Galleries.

About the Indianapolis Museum of Art
Founded in 1883, the Indianapolis Museum of Art serves the creative interests of its communities by fostering exploration of arts, design and the natural environment. Encompassing 152 acres of gardens and grounds, the IMA is among the 10 oldest and 10 largest encyclopedic art museums in the United States and features significant collections of African, American, Asian, European, contemporary art and design arts that spans 5,000 years of history. Additionally, art, design, and nature are featured at The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres, Oldfields–Lilly House and Gardens, a historic Country-Place-Era estate and National Historic Landmark on the IMA grounds and the Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Indiana, one of the country’s most highly regarded examples of mid-century Modernist residences. For more information visit

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Stephanie Perry
Indianapolis Museum of Art
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