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Bill Viola: The Passions
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The Events

All events are free and are held in the Harold M. Williams Auditorium, unless otherwise noted. Seating reservations are required. For reservations and information, please call (310) 440-7300 or use the reservation buttons below. Tickets are available on-site or by phone.

Available for $3 in the Museum Entrance Hall

  • Curator John Walsh introduces the exhibition, with commentary by Bill Viola.
  • Filmmaker Mark Kidel remarks on his film documentary about the artist.
  • Visit the Getty collection on an audio tour with Bill Viola, featuring his reflections on six paintings that inspired him.

Gallery Talks
No reservations required. Tuesdays – Sundays, beginning February 4
1:30 p.m. – Introduction to the exhibition
2:30 p.m. – Optional post-exhibition viewing discussion

The Passions: Bill Viola and John Walsh in Conversation
Pioneering video artist Bill Viola and Getty Museum Director Emeritus John Walsh discuss the exhibition Bill Viola: The Passions, which features works that explore the power and complexity of human emotions. This exhibition presents the Los Angeles debut of 13 works including two new works, one of which was commissioned by the Getty.
Exhibitions Pavilion will be open 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 30, 7:00 p.m.

Bodies of Light: Peter Sellars and Bill Viola in Conversation
Pioneering video artist Bill Viola and Peter Sellars, world-renowned director of opera, theater, and film, discuss the historical sources of Viola's recent work, and the role of the visual arts, theater, and technology in representing the human condition within contemporary society.
Exhibitions Pavilion will be open 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 27, 7:00 p.m.

Gordon Getty Concert
A Light through My Tears: The Music of Hamza el Din
With his transcendent playing, gentle voice, and exquisite compositions, oud/tar master Hamza el Din is acknowledged as the father of modern Nubian music. In a rare Southern California performance, el Din performs his Sufi-inspired music with celebrated musicians, cellist Joan Jeanrenaud, percussionist Ian Dogole, pianist W. A. Mathieu, and vocalist Devi Mathieu.
Tickets: $22; $15 students/seniors
Saturday, March 22, 8:00 p.m.

Friday Nights at the Getty
The Shape of Emotion
An evening of discussion and performance featuring Bill Viola and some of the actor/performers who worked with him in creating The Passions. With John Fleck, Weba Garretson, Dan Gerrity, Valerie Spencer, John Hay, and Sarah Steben. As a way of illuminating the process, performers share excerpts from their own work and Viola shows video clips of work studies.
Friday, March 28, 7:30 p.m.

Bill Viola: Video Festival
Along with the large-scale installations and flat panel pieces for which he is known, Bill Viola has been creating videotapes for television and theatrical presentation since he first began using video more than 30 years ago. This free two-day festival represents a rare opportunity to see a broad range of work, from his first video piece Tape I (1972) to his acclaimed, seminal masterpiece The Passing (1991).

Friday and Saturday, February 21 and 22
Admission is free, seating reservations available beginning January 25.

View Schedule

Point-of-View Talks
Talks are held at 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. in the Exhibitions Pavilion. Sign up at the Museum Information Desk beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Weba Garretson, a singer and performer who has participated in numerous Bill Viola videos, discusses the exhibition.
Friday, March 7

Andreas Deja, a supervising animator at Walt Disney Studios who has been with the studio for more than 20 years, discusses how gesture and facial expression can communicate mood.
Friday, March 21

Short Film
Bill Viola and Emergence
This original short film, directed by the award-winning British filmmaker Mark Kidel, portrays the key stages of the making of Viola's new piece, which was commissioned by the Getty and inspired by a fresco painting of the Pietà by Masolino, the Florentine collaborator of Masaccio. It explores Viola's sources and influences.
The making of Emergence is seen in footage shot in the artist's studio, and there are interviews with key contributors, including the artist, actors, and crew.
Tuesdays – Sundays, January 24 – April 27, every 15 minutes, unless otherwise noted.
Museum Lecture Hall

Related Exhibition
Between Heaven and Earth: Images of Christ and the Virgin
March 18 – June 29, 2003
Part human and part divine, the dual nature of Christ and the Virgin was most pointedly revealed in depictions of their final days. Comprised of drawings, prints, and illustrated books from the 16th through 18th centuries, this exhibition explores the humanity of their pain and suffering and their divine triumph over mortality. Artists include Federico Barocci, Peter Paul Rubens, and Charles Coypel.

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