Michael Snow: Photo-centric Work Investigates The Limits Of Representation




 “To extend the depth of what has been called ‘art’ into photography requires . . . making available to the spectator the amazing transformations the subject undergoes to become the photograph.” – Michael Snow

The highly regarded Canadian artist and experimental filmmaker Michael Snow is having an exhibition of his photographic work at The Philadelphia Museum of Art. It will be his first in over four decades in the United States.  Snow is one of the most influential experimental filmmakers of his generation,  known and admired for his multi-disciplinary approach to art making. Photo-Centric will highlight this important aspect of his practice, exploring the intimate connections that exist between his work in photography, painting, sculpture, and film. Maybe this will finalise Snow’s place in history as a pioneer of of this genre of work.

Developed in close collaboration with the artist, Photo-Centric is a focused survey of Snow’s photography-based work and presents key examples of his use of the medium over the past five decades. This body of work has been central to Snow’s investigation of the nature and limits of representation, articulated through an exploration of photography and its processes. According to Snow, “To extend the depth of what has been called ‘art’ into photography requires…making available to the spectator the amazing transformations the subject undergoes to become the photograph.”

Poised between two- and three-dimensionality, a number of works in this exhibition engage physically with the gallery space and the viewer, and are representative of Snow’s various approaches to photography and the various ways in which it “frames” vision. Each work exemplifies one or more of the strategies employed by Snow to explore this idea. Illumination, transparency, staging, simultaneity and sequence, size manipulation, cropping, and framing are brought into play and exposed for the part they play in the making of photographic images.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by the Museum in association with Yale University Press. It includes essays by Michael Snow, Adelina Vlas, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, and a foreword by Timothy Rub, The George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer. February

Michael Snow: Photo-Centric The Philadelphia Museum of Art February 1, 2014 – April 27, 2014


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