Created by Bill Viola and Kira Perov and opened in May 2014, Martyrs shows four individuals, across four colour vertical plasma screens, being martyred by the four classical elements. The work has no sound. It lasts for seven minutes.
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Viola picks an iconographic theme from a hagiographic cycle and sets it in motion. Pivotal here is not the modern setting but the slow transformation of a familiar musée-archive imaginaire into an estranged musée cinématographique, requesting in the process a type of patient attention we are no longer accustomed to. The final canvas-like recomposure attests to the incursion in hyperdilating an image injected w/ time.