Hall of whispers


Video/sound installation

Interior room: 300 x 760 cm (118 1/8 x 299 3/16 in.) Equipment room: 250 x 760 cm (98 7/16 x 299 3/16 in.)

On each side of a dark corridor, ten close-ups images of pallid men and women, gagged and their eyes shut, are lined up in two rows of screens. They are trying to speak but only moans and laments are audible.

Hall of Whispers is among the first works of art that internationally renowned American artist Bill Viola—famous for his video art, notably in slow motion—created in his mature years. The usual affects and evocative power of his video installations are once again at play here. At first, the space creates a false impression of tranquility, but it is promptly replaced by a feeling of suffocation as viewers finds themselves caught in the midst of these muffled complaints.

A landmark piece in Bill Viola's artistic practice, Hall of Whispers is held by the Pinault Collection and was presented twice to the public: in the Voice of Images exhibition at Palazzo Grassi in Venice (2012-2013) and in the show À Triple tour. Collection Pinault (“triple locked”) at the Paris Conciergerie, in 2013.