Michael Snow

Recent Snow: Projected Works by Michael Snow


Opening on the artist’s eighty-first birthday, Recent Snow: Projected Works by Michael Snow surveys the legendary Canadian artist’s forays into video installation from the past nine years.

Curated by Gregory Burke

Opening on the artist’s eighty-first birthday, Recent Snow: Projected Works by Michael Snow surveys the legendary Canadian artist’s forays into video installation from the past nine years. With seven projection works on display – most never before seen in Toronto – the exhibition includes works such as That/Cela/Dat (2000) and SSHTOORRTY (2005) as well as the world premiere of two new pieces. A pioneer, particularly in experimental film, Snow has broken ground in every medium imaginable, from photography to improvisational music. The exhibition attests to the ongoing relevance of Snow’s playful and experimental practice, and the influence it continues to exert on the international contemporary art world. It also marks Snow’s return to The Power Plant, fifteen years after the ambitious retrospective The Michael Snow Project in 1994, which was co-organized by The Power Plant and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
 
The product of a restless intelligence and a sharp wit, Snow’s work deftly juggles and juxtaposes the sensorial and the cerebral. Snow’s video projections manipulate the space between the moments of recording and reception, between the surface of the world and the surface of the screen, to stage a dynamic play between a video camera and material reality. Snow uses the camera as an instrument capable of shaping and altering what it is pointed toward. In his hands, realism becomes far from realistic and the familiar takes us by surprise.
Condensation: A Cove Story (2008) – which "condenses" footage of weather systems through time-lapse – transforms the passing of time as it unfolds the Maritimes. Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids) (2002) also takes inspiration from this environment: its dance of sun, window, curtain and wind becomes “a contemplative time-light-motion work of art…”

The Corner of Braque and Picasso Streets
(2009) projects a live video feed of traffic on Queens Quay West onto a cubist relief composed of rectangular plinths on the gallery wall. The brand new, four-screen Piano Sculpture (2009) is a composition spanning a quartet of piano keyboards, evidencing the vitality of music – and that instrument in particular – to Snow’s aesthetic universe. Finally, Serve, Deserve (2009) – also premiering in this exhibition – projects a place setting onto a tabletop as dishes progressively fill up with food that seems to fall down the projector beam.

Recent Snow
will be accompanied by screenings of some of Snow’s iconic experimental films, and by a feature article by Montreal-based art historian Martha Langford in the Winter 2009 issue of The Power Plant’s magazine SWITCH.

Michael Snow has exhibited internationally for over five decades. His films have been included in hundreds of film festivals and in retrospectives in Tokyo, Brussels and Geneva. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at Àngels Barcelona (2009); BFI Southbank Gallery, London (2008); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2005); and Kunst-Werke, Berlin (2002). His work has been selected for recent biennials in Sydney (2008), São Paulo (2006) and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2006). As a musician, Snow has performed internationally and has released many recordings, most recently with Aki Onda and Alan Licht (Victo, 2008).


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