The Space Between The Teeth

1976

The Space Between The Teeth

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This sequence from Bill Viola's "Four Songs" features " Space Between the Teeth." Viola is seated in an armchair against a stark background, his silence punctuated by screams. The camera pulls back to reveal that he is at the end of a long hallway. As he screams, a series of quick edits pulls the viewer closer and closer to him, revealing the inside of his mouth. In the scene that follows, the camera pans across a kitchen interior, settling at last on the sink. A man comes in, washes some dishes and exits, leaving the tap running water. A still photo showing the chair at the end of the hallway is thrown into a body of water, then washed away by the waves created by an off-camera boat.
This episode of "Artist's Showcase" features &qout;Four Songs" by Bill Viola. Bill Viola's " Four Songs" is composed of four distinct segments, which deal with the passing of time and the impact of gestures and activities. In " Junkyard Levitation," a figure lies down, surrounded by the refuse of a junkyard. Slowly, a shadow passes over his body as an unseen magnet causes the metal scraps in front of him to reach towards the sky, mysteriously standing upright. When this activity is complete, the figure stands up and walks away, just as a train is passing in the distance. " Songs of Innocence" features a classroom of schoolchildren who perform two musical numbers with their teacher on the lawn in front of a large building. Some of the children strum on guitars as accompaniment to the singing, while others perform gestures to illustrate key images in the lyrics. The children depart from the area, leaving behind a small floral arrangement and candle. The camera rests on this vacated space for quite some time, as day turns into night. Occasionally, an airplane passes in the sky above. The schoolchildren return to the surroundings like ghosts, their images and sounds faintly superimposed. In " Space Between the Teeth," Bill Viola is seated in an armchair against a stark background, his silence punctuated by screams. The camera pulls back to reveal that he is at the end of a long hallway. As he screams, a series of quick edits pulls the viewer closer and closer to him, revealing the inside of his mouth. In the scene that follows, the camera pans across a kitchen interior, settling at last on the sink. A man comes in, washes some dishes and exits, leaving the tap running water. A still photo showing the chair at the end of the hallway is thrown into a body of water, then washed away by the waves created by an off-camera boat. In "Truth Through Mass Individuation," a body of water, which is traversed in the distance by a bridge for automobiles, is seen in various stages. The shoreline changes; day turns to night and then back to day again. A figure who has faded into the landscape through all of this leaps from a rock into the water. Pigeons grazing on a city street are interrupted by a man who drops a cymbal, causing them to scatter. A man walks through a street with a rifle, stopping to fire it into the air. A figure seated in a darkened parking lot gets up and walks away, revealing an occupied baseball stadium in the background. This was produced with the Television Laboratory at WNET. Some of the postproduction work on individual segments was done at Synapse in Syracuse. It was acquired by WGBH to be aired as part of the "Artist''s Showcase" series. "Artist's Showcase" was a series designed to showcase video art and experimental work from WGBH. The program ran on Sunday evenings at 11 P.M., from the fall of 1976 through 1982. In the early 1970's, "Artist's Showcase" was the only consistent broadcast outlet for many of the Workshop productions. Most materials of broadcast quality created at WGBH in the mid-1970's were shown as part of this series. Additionally, earlier video art experiments and segments of related shows, such as "Mixed Bag" or "What's Happening Mr. Silver" were broadcast under these auspices. This series was also a broadcast outlet for a handful of works by video artists that were not created at WGBH but only acquired for this purpose. Some compilation reels showing highlights of Workshop activity were also broadcast.

Estreia Mundial:
1976
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