"I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like" by John Hanhardt

I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like The Art of Bill Viola John Hanhardt, Thomas Carlson, Kira Perov

Publication date:
09 Jul 2019
Barnes Foundation
176 pages: 273 x 229mm
136 color illus.
Sales territories:


Bill Viola (b. 1951) is one of today’s premier video installation artists whose apparently straightforward imagery belies a decades-long investigation into the human imagination and its various states of consciousness. This unique and accessible guide to Viola’s work provides new insights into the artist’s creative processes by drawing on his own writing, as well as texts that have inspired his creative vision. John G. Hanhardt, an expert on Bill Viola, explores how the artist’s work relates to literature, philosophy, poetry, and mysticism. Kira Perov, Viola’s wife, artistic collaborator, and the manager of his studio, offers her own intimate insights into his work and studio production. Beautifully illustrated, this book imparts a fresh take on Viola’s art, originality, and celebrated creativity.

John G. Hanhardt is the consulting senior curator for media arts at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC. Thomas Carlson is a professor in the Department of Religious Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. Kira Perov is Viola’s wife, artistic collaborator, and the manager of his studio.