Bill Viola was born in 1951 in New York. In 1973 he graduated in Experimental Studies at Syracuse University, where he studied visual arts and electronic music. He currently lives and works in Long Beach California, United States. Viola is internationally recognised for his videos, environmental installations and performances of experimental music. In his works, he explores the great themes of life, from death to rebirth. The subjects and situations that he sets up have their roots in both western and eastern traditions, with themes from the Christian faith combined with Sufi and Buddhist thought. His works include quotations of works from the history of art: echoes of Pontormo’s Visitation, for example, are evident in The Greeting (1995). Viola symbolises the stages of life as in a liturgy, taking to the extreme the technique of slow motion to imbue the image with a tragic overtone and to give each small detail extraordinary power,
Exhibitions dedicated to his work include those at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh (2015), Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana (2015), Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris (2014) and Villa Panza, Varese (2012). Hall of Whispers (1995) was included in the exhibition ‘Voice of Images’ (2012-13) at Palazzo Grassi.