Some find the images too graphic and ask what business St Paul's Cathedral has to show such suffering. Others stand and, through tears, pray in front of the work as they see the suffering of their own community reflected there. On the other hand for some the images are too anodyne, too safe, too picturesque.
We are used to watching violence in films or crime reconstruction or sports fixtures. There may be a replay in slow motion, hese pieces bypass rationality. They touch our inner capacity to attend patiently to the nuances of real feelings. And to stay in the here and now, however terrible. Many people watch it more than once then walk quietly away.
HOW DO I GET TO SEE IT FOR FREE?
The installations have been given to Tate, and are on long-term loan to St Paul’s Cathedral.The good news is that anyone can see them for free, without paying what, for some, is a somewhat substantial fee for visiting the cathedral. Just turn up at 11.30am or 2.15pm Monday to Friday. You get a BILL VIOLA sticker on your lapel and can in fact see much of the interior of St Pauls as you walk to and from the installation.
In Art and Christianity, Mark Oakley, Canon Chancellor at St Paul's Cathedral, reviews The Unspeakable Art of Bill Viola by Ronald Bernier, 'a short, intelligent and accessible introduction to Viola's work'
AND SEE MORE?
Bill Viola Quintet of the Unseen (Blog 60)