Angel's Gate

1989, 4:50 min, color, sound

Writes Viola: "A succession of individual images focusing on mortality, decay and disintegration, are delineated by long, slow fades to black. The image sequences — fruit falling from a tree, a candle being extinguished, a family having a flash photograph taken — appear as a series of openings or momentary glimpses into nature's essential gestures which, like thoughts, are destined to fade and themselves disintegrate into obscurity and oblivion. Peak moments illuminate the dim confines of memory and forgetting with a kind of universal light, as a baby emerges into the world before our eyes, and the camera-eye moves along a dark concrete tunnel towards the rigid steel bars of a locked gate, where it finally passes through and out into the bright world, liberated by the consuming, saturated white light of its own overexposure."

Conceived, Directed and Edited by Bill Viola. Production Coordinator: Donna Matorin. Production Manager: Robert Campbell. Tape Editor: Andrew Hanges. Executive Producer: Pere Roca. Produced for IMATCO/ATANOR.


SCREENING REQUIREMENTS for museum or gallery presentation: The video should be presented as cinema. The screening should take place in an isolated dark room with seating for the audience (ie. not be an open "walk through" gallery.) If available, a normal museum theater is best. As with film, it should be shown according to a printed schedule and not on an automatically repeating loop. Quality presentations less frequently to larger groups are preferable to continuous screenings throughout the day. A large screen monitor may be used (26, 30, or 35 inch) for groups up to about 60 (varies with floor plan and seating arrangement). For very large groups or in a large space, a video projector with a flat screen (high gain) may be used. Audio must be monitored through a separate stereo sound system (amplifier and 2 speakers). The built-in speakers in the video monitor must not be used. Please contact EAI distribution ( if you have any questions.


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