IN THE WAY
Jack Shainman Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new work by Michael Snow. The show will examine the act of looking and the process of viewing though projections, holography and photo-based works.
The Viewing of Six New Works is a new seven-part projection which draws on Snow's oeuvre to examine the nature of perception and the physical relationship of the artwork to the viewer. The light projections simulate the varying ways a person might look at a rectangular wall-mounted artwork by digitally mimicking and essentializing the movement of the eyes. The gestures of viewing are revealed as the shifting focus of the spectator's gaze becomes fleetingly tangible and physically manifested through the piece. "The work is an attempt to present only the movements of perception, not perception itself," explains Snow, "the art of looking at art."
A second new work, In the Way, is a floor-projection of a trucking pan shot directly above varying terrains of Northern Canada. The work relates to Snow's seminal La Region Central (1971) and <―> (1969) in its pendulum motion and the use of the cinematic apparatus of both camera and projector as a stand-in for the artist and viewer's gaze. The work becomes a virtual extension that the observer is able to get "in the way of" by standing in the image and altering the piece. The ambiguity of the illusionary plane, which simultaneously contains and breaches the demarcated space, creates an opposition unsettling the viewer's own presence.
Additionally, the show will feature earlier works which explore the act of seeing "as framing and containment" and draw out the continuous themes of conceptual play and self-referentiality which permeate Snow's body of work. Exchange, a hologram from 1985, confronts the observer through a staring spectral face. La Ferme (1998), a photo-based work spanning 23 feet is derived from 16mm film of a pastoral scene whose subject, grazing cows, observes the viewer and blurs the boundary of motion and stillness. Both of these works are a testament to Snow's ability to use a cross-section of media to investigate the tension between the "here"" and "there" through technological displacement.
Michael Snow is a visual artist, filmmaker and musician. He first exhibited in New York in the 1960s and became internationally recognized for pioneering avant-garde cinema with the film Wavelength (1967). His work is represented in private and public collections worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris, and both the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée d'Art Contemporain in Montréal. Michael Snow has represented Canada at the Venice Biennale and is a member of the Order of Canada and a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in France.
Snow recently had an exhibition Solo Snow at Le Fresnoy, France curated by Louise Déry. In 2012, he will have solo exhibitions at The Vienna Secession, a sculpture retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario and a solo show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.