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Anima

2000
21st century
41.3 cm x 190.5 cm (16 1/4 in. x 75 in.)

Bill Viola (New York, New York, 1951 - ) Primary

Object Type: time based media
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Color video triptych shown on three LCD flat panels
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Blanton Ball Purchase, 2002
Accession Number: 2002.2841

"Anima," which means “soul” in Latin and is the root of the word animation, is from a series of works inspired by Renaissance paintings of figures against neutral backgrounds. The panels show three people who have been directed to express a series of emotions in a specific order—joy, sorrow, anger, and fear. Bill Viola shot the original footage of the complete emotional cycle in one minute; by slowing the speed of the video playback to 81 minutes and 30 seconds, he has made it nearly impossible to discern any movement, blurring the distinction between portraits made with still photography and those made with film. Through these portraits of three anonymous individuals, Viola both conveys the idea that time is eternal and addresses the notion of the changing self.

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