Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Peter Gillies & Rupert Loydell - Bill Viola

Bill Viola is not your Friend

I never thought I'd get the point
of performance art and film.
White walls made for paintings
are not cinema or tv screens
but this projected light brings tears.

Bill Viola is not your friend.
He's too busy filming life and death,
pouring water over the camera
and working out how silence sounds,
how still moving images can be.

I never thought I'd get the point
of watching videos in the dark
or tolerate reality recycled.
How long should we sit here waiting
for the creep of flesh onscreen?

Bill Viola is not your friend.
He's too intelligent and thoughtful,
explains his work too well.
Watch the man rise, catch breath
and fall; rise, catch breath, and fall.

"Being in a body we didn't own or know."

        © Rupert M Loydell

Bill Viola could be your Cousin

Pitch black at first. Not so low budget
as you might expect, better hold your breath
as his doomed giant lovers hold theirs.
One on each screen afloat,
they'll drown in all this slowed-down sincerity.

Bill Viola could be your cousin
and if you're convinced by his faith in video art
you will stand there like a pillar of salt,
seduced by his Old Testament gusto
and his play of underwater light.

Camera-shy or just a poor swimmer
he leaves his actors to fend for themselves.
They get to rise up from the waters of baptism
although some days, for sure, anything
could be preferable to water-logged transcendence.

Bill Viola could be your long lost cousin
with a film of your classmates in a High School stunt.
Now he says the ocean is a self without a shore
but when his weighty figures plunge down
does your neurotic fear of death truly disappear?

"By the time he felt comfortable enough to ask why,

he was in too deep."

        © Peter Gillies

3 of 3. There are more in the meatworld and in cyberspace; Stride has one, more expected at Shadowtrain, and there have been reports of the limited edition series showing up on people's doormats. Including one of the Editors' doormats.

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