Bill Viola: Inner Journey

22 Sept 2021–27 Feb 2022
Bill Viola, Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall), 2005.  Kuva: Kira Perov © Bill Viola Studio Amos Rex 2021
Bill Viola, Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall), 2005. Bild: Kira Perov © Bill Viola Studio

Bill Viola: Inner Journey

Bill Viola: Inner Journey
22 Sept 2021 – 27 Feb 2022

Artist Bill Viola creates video works of various types and sizes. The Amos Rex exhibition features very large video projections with high volume as well as smaller, quieter works. On this page we’ll go through the works in the exhibition in detail, to allow better advance planning of a visit with children.

Visiting the exhibition may be intense for small children. The rooms are dark so that the video works can be seen better. Some rooms feature loud sounds. A few of the works include nudity. The works handle major questions of life such as birth and death, so it may be good to prepare in advance to discuss these issues.

There is no content unsuitable for children, but some of the works may be frightening.

You can read more about the artworks in the exhibition brochure, available for free at the exhibition entrance. All the works in the exhibition are videos, and some have sound as well. You can start watching the videos at any point and watch them for as long or as briefly as you’d like. The exact duration of the videos is indicated in the exhibition brochure and on labels on the gallery walls. The works are meant to be viewed from a distance and must not be touched. The only exception is The Night Journey, which is an art video game. You can play it yourself, following the instructions in the museum.

Nearly all the works have sound. Those with sensitive hearing may borrow hearing protection from the museum’s coat-check area.

There are discussion guides throughout the exhibition space who are glad to help with any questions.

Exhibition content warnings:
darkness, loud sounds, nudity, intense atmosphere


In the exhibition

The exhibition starts in a large room where two video works by Bill Viola are shown one after the other.

Tristan’s Ascension

Content remarks: darkness, loud sound

The video shows a person lying on a platform with water rising over him towards the air above. There is increasingly more and more water, and eventually the person rises up with the water and slips out of the pictur

Fire Woman

Content remarks: darkness, loud sounds

In the work, a person stands looking at a large wall of flames until they fall into the water and disappear.

Amos Rex, Bill Viola, Stations, 1994. Photo Tuomas Uusheimo Amos Rex 2021


Content remarks: darkness, loud sounds, nudity

The next large room has a work entitled Stations. It consists of five large videos each in front of a shiny stone slab on the floor which reflects the image in the video. Do not touch the stone slabs and be sure to move carefully.

The videos show naked bodies in the water. The bodies move under the water

The next part of the exhibition consists of nine smaller works in four rooms. Below we have only included information about works that contain elements that warrant special attention in terms of content or sensory stimuli.

Amos Rex, Bill Viola, Unspoken, 2001. Photo Tuomas Uusheimo

Unspoken (Silver & Gold)

This work consists of two small screens showing close-ups of two adults experiencing many different emotions. They seem distressed, and sometimes they cry. Some people may find the work disturbing or gloomy.


A person sits in front of their own reflection in a pool of water and dips their face beneath the surface. Some people may find the atmosphere disturbing or gloomy.

Amos Rex, Bill Viola The Trial, 2015. Photo Tuomas Uusheimo

The Trial

On two large screens we see a person with a large amount of liquid spilling over them. One of the liquids is dark in colour and may seem like blood.

Amos Rex, Bill Viola and USC Game Innovation Lab, The Night Journey, photo: Tuomas Uusheimo

The Night Journey

Content remarks: darkness, intense atmosphere, nudity

The Night Journey is an art video game located in the museum’s workshop space Studio Rex. You can play the game. The game is set in a black and white landscape where you can act freely.