Color video diptych on plasma displays mounted vertically on wall
About Ablutions by Bill Viola
The diptych opens with two parallel streams of water. A female torso moves into the background of the left screen while a male torso mirrors her on the right. The figures move slowly to the foreground and into the light, their hands begin to cup together under the water. The slow motion of the water splashing off their hands adds to the visceral sense of the video. The two figures wash their hands in the water and after several minutes fade out into silhouettes. Viola has described this work as a kind of purification ceremony akin to those one would experience in a Japanese Zen temple.