Viola Bill:The Passing
Viola Bill:Passing, The
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Bill Viola
The Passing

The Passing
In memory of Wynne Lee Viola
Created and directed by Bill Viola
Black-and-white, Mono Sound
United States, 1991
54 minutes

‘Rarely, if ever, has video been so visionary in its mood, so poetic in its language and so powerful in its emotional impact.’ Steven Bode

The Passing is a personal response to the spiritual extremes of birth and death in the family. Black-and-white nocturnal imagery and underwater scenes depict a twilight world hovering on the borders of human perception and consciousness, where the multiple lives of the mind––memory, reality, and vision––merge.
Bill Viola, 1991

Considered by many to be one of Viola’s most important and accessible works, The Passing speaks eloquently to human experience at its most profound, it is a meditation on the passage of generations. This one-hour video is a landmark of twentieth-century visual narrative as well as an expression of spirituality that is both deeply personal and universally understood.

Conceived and produced by Bill Viola in association with ZDF Das kleine Fernsehspiel, supervising producer, Carl-Ludwig Rettinger; Executive Producer and Production Manager Kira Perov; production assistance Donna Matorin and Robert Campbell; additional funding, the National Endowment for the Arts.
All photographs: Kira Perov, © Kira Perov and Bill Viola.
© Bill Viola 2006. The copyright proprietors have licensed the material in this DVD Video for private and domestic use only. All other rights reserved.