05 February 2013

Bill Viola: Tristan's Ascencion

Tristan's Ascencion (The Sound of a Mountain under a Waterfall)
Bill Viola (US)
Stavanger kunstmuseum

There has been some attention to the inclusion of the "Tristan's Ascencion" to the permanent exhibition of Stavanger kunstmuseum. And finally I was there to see it too. To be honest, I was quite sceptic, I mean, a video of man having water poured over him, how interesting could that be? I was wrong.

There is a grand amount of expectation built up for this artwork. Its showroom occupies a substantial part of the museum space, it feels like a churchroom inside, and it is most of the time dark. The movie is 11 minutes long, and is only shown every hour. I had to wait for it to start, which turned the expectations high.

But then it started, first silent, then stronger and stronger visual and sound impressions. It was like a fist hitting my senses. It was awesome, it was wonderful, it was sublime. Now I understand that all the buildup of expectations were right, and it was worth it.

Go there, see it, this work itself is worth the whole entrance ticket! And they have a one hour documentary about Bill Viola as well.

Bill Viola: Tristan's Ascencion (The Sound of a Mountain under a Waterfall)