Michael Snow

Michael Snow is a versatile and prolific artist. Painting, photography, sculpture, jazz, and experimental cinema comprise his media spanning over forty years of activity.
In each of his works, regardless of the discipline involved, his research is focused on the analysis of representation and its materials. Through his experience above all as an experimental filmmaker, Snow has created a vast body of works that both reflects and questions the chosen medium in a constant analytical alternation between what is represented, the process employed, and the material used.
At the core of every video developed by Snow the exploration of the organizational principles dominates the structural composition. In his research, the interest in the physical experience and the process of perception always coexist. [F.B.]

List of Works

Rameau’s Nephew by Diderot (Thanks to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen, 1970–1974
transferred from 16 mm film, color, sound, 4 hrs. 26 min.
Purchased with the contribution of the Compagnia di San Paolo
This work offers an extensive and in-depth exploration of the various possibilities of the use of sound in film. The film is based on the study, illustration, and trial of all the relationships between images and sounds. The artist focuses on the associations between people and words, including the processes of identification established in film projection and viewing. In an articulated research, culminating in a sort of video transfer, he examines multiple possibilities of psychological and emotive illusion produced by the experience of looking at and listening to a film.

Michael Snow Presents, 1981
transferred from 16 mm film, color, sound, 90 min.
Purchased with the contribution of the Compagnia di San Paolo
The film opens with an abstract image on a black background that progressively reveals itself as a woman in bed. This is shortly followed by a parody of Structuralist cinema divided into three sequences focusing on the position of the camera. In the first long scene, the video camera is immobile while the entire set moves. In the second, the video camera—enclosed in a transparent plexiglass armor— physically invades the set, destroying everything that comes into its path. Finally, the wall of the set is passed through and the film moves on to frenetically take exterior zigzag shots mimicking the natural trajectories of a human eye.