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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Bill Viola: Martyrs at St Paul's Cathedral

Having made a point of highlighting the programme of temporary commissions at St Paul's Cathedral in my sabbatical visit report, I now discover that two permanent video installations by Bill Viola have been commissioned. As The Guardian reported today, the first of these has just been installed:

'It has taken more than a decade to agree on, plan and install Viola's eerie multiscreen work Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), a quest that started when the cathedral's overseers were struck by his exhibition The Passions at the National Gallery in 2003. This exhibition revealed the depth of his interest in traditional religious art. St Paul's has a steady programme of commissioning modern works but there simply is no other artist today of Viola's quality who is so committed to the idea of religious art. He is making a second work for St Paul's, to be unveiled next year, called Mary. He says he hopes the pieces are not just art but "practical objects of traditional contemplation and devotion".'


Gene Clark - White Light.

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