The Raft
Stories & Ideas

Sun 20 Feb 2011

Bill Viola: The Raft

Art Talk
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Suspension of emotion.

When he was 6 years old, Bill Viola nearly drowned on a raft on a family holiday. What he saw at the bottom of the lake he describes as “the most beautiful world”.

Water plays a central theme in many of his works including The Raft as he reflects on birth, death and human consciousness. Ultra slow motion is a recurring technique he uses to encourage the audience to sink into to the image and connect deeply to the meanings contained within it.

The Raft exhibited at ACMI during Melbourne Festival 2010.

Recounting the first time he met his Zen teacher Daien Tanaka – “Im talking about my work in this very Western way ... and he whacks me on the forehead and he yells ‘No thinking!’ and it was the best thing anyone ever told me.” In Conversation with Rachael Kohn, Bill shares his deep spiritual beliefs and how that filters into his creative practice.