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Bill Viola

(American, 1951-)

Diptych, video transferred to DVD on two flat plasma display panels

Overall: 205.1 x 61 x 8.9 cm (80 3/4 x 24 x 3 1/2 in.)

Private Collection, New York 4.2003



Surrender is characteristic of Bill Viola’s innovative video work for its exploration of universal themes,
particularly the cyclical nature of life and death and spiritual transcendence.

This installation is a key component in a larger group called The Passions, which Viola developed between 2000 and 2003. These works, inspired by late medieval and early Renaissance paintings and their iconography, focus intensely on dramatic expressions of extreme emotion, either joy, fear, anger, or sorrow. Surrender explores the physical and symbolic potency of water (tears and baptismal) as a vehicle for eliminating the pain and suffering of loss and longing.

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