Bill Viola

2 Cath's Room


Scene from the Catherine’s Room piece

Julie Lazar introduced me to Bill Viola after a performance of “HAPPY END” at MOCA. Bill had already walked up to Randee Trabitz, the Director and I, telling us that he enjoyed the show and that he “worked in film too.” Then Julie arrived and said, “Oh, I see you’ve met Bill Viola” and my jaw dropped. I had just seen his retrospective at the San Francisco Museum.

NatGallery of London Poster

National Gallery Poster

Bill invited me to his studio to work on his piece for the National Gallery of London.  He was doing work that focused on the emotion. Lit by a shaft of light coming from the ceiling, I stood in his studio and went through the emotional arc of the song I knew best at that point which was “Surabaya Johnny.” The emotions of that song – infatuation, joy, anger, regret, despair – were fresh and available to me. I didn’t need to speak or sing in order to invoke them.

I went on to work with Bill on many pieces and I am honored to be a part of his work and to have spent so much time with Kira Perov and his amazing staff.

Getty Shot

Bill Coaches us for the Emergence Shoot