Critical Writing Index

Bill Viola: The Passions

by Janet McKenzie

London: The National Gallery, 2004

Using actors to reconstruct great paintings, Viola can construct what was impossible, even miraculous in traditional media. Where a painting is always still, an image suspended in time, Viola's video characters blink, tears flow, reality feels but a breath away. The Passions the catalogue essay for the National Gallery's retrospective of Viola's work Janet Mackenzie talks about his videos in the context of religion, and explores the negative criticism they receive.

ITEM 2004.130 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Quintet for the AstonishedBill Viola

The GreetingBill Viola

The VisitationBill Viola

The MessengerBill Viola

Christ Mocked (The Crowning With Thorns)Hieronymus Bosch