For over 40 years Bill Viola has created architectural video installations, video films, sound environments, electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and works for television broadcast, as well as music concerts, opera and sacred spaces. A Phrase from “Chris” is part of his Transfigurations series that includes the installation Ocean Without a Shore (2007) created for the 52nd Venice Biennale.
“Transfiguration refers to a rare process whereby both the substance and essence of an entity is reconfigured. In physical terms, a transfiguration is a change in form, a remodeling of appearance. The word derives from the ancient Greek ‘metemorphothe’ or 'metamorphosis,’ suggesting a complete reformation. However, the word takes on its fullest meaning in the spiritual context when it refers to the moment when a person or an object is transformed not by external means but from within. The resulting change is absolute and thorough, affecting the heart and soul of the subject. Although the outward appearance can sometimes be altered in this process as well, it is not necessary. A deeper, more profound, complete transformation occurs inside, out of sight and, for a person it reformulates the very fiber of their being, finally radiating outward to affect everything around it.”