Going Forth By Day


Video/sound installation : five-part projected image cycle

Variable dimensions

The title of this work by Bill Viola, The Book of Going Forth by Day, refers to ancient Egypt’s Book of the Dead, which guides the dead to the kingdom of death. Five simultaneously running videos immerse viewers into the work. Sounds intermingle, creating an overall mood. The images are shown on a wall like a fresco. In a nod to Italian Renaissance frescoes, the images fill the whole space. Viola is in the continuity of art history both in the choice of subjects and in the making of his works.

In search of spirituality, Going Forth by Day traces different periods of life from birth to death and rebirth. Viola seeks symbolism that touches on the universal and, possibly, shared transcendence. 

Bill Viola’s video installation Going Forth by Day was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the 2008 “Passage du temps” (“Passage of Time”) show at the Tri Postal in Lille.