120312: Secession Michael Snow – Recent Works

Secession Michael Snow – Recent Works 22.03.12 – 15.04.12 The maximalist of the film screen By Patrick Schabus Seven new works by Michael Snow are to be seen in the exhibition rooms of the Secession – unfortunately not in the main room but in the other rooms. He is often considered a formalist or minimalist, but he prefers to regard himself as a maximalist. It is difficult to classify his oeuvres because his works are extremely varied. Sometimes it appears as if several artists have been at work, but it was always Snow alone. Even when the same object is portrayed, Snow comes up with completely different assertions and design vocabulary. In 1992, he already used a window in his hut for the photographic work "Speed of Light". Now visitors to the Secession can see the same window in the video "Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids)" from 2002. And in this work, a curtain can be seen that continuously strikes an open window and dallies for a moment on the mosquito net before falling back into place. Abstract compositions are created which appear in different forms each time and then dissipate. Sometimes the garden outside the hut can be briefly seen when the curtain is blown strongly into the room by the wind. There, almost in the middle of the picture, lies the solar panel that produces the electricity for the camera. If you look closely, you can see that when the curtain sticks to the mosquito net, it resembles the painted fabrics of classical art. It has seemingly paid off for him to have waited for years to capture this rare natural phenomena - on the one hand, he approaches the genre of the documentary film and on the other, because he wanted to capture the performance of the wind without influencing it, he opens up an interesting discourse and liaison possibilities in the culture-nature debate. Completely different is the SSHTOORRTY from 2005, his first narrative work. The language spoken here isn't English as was the case up to now in his other films, but Farsi. Here we see an artist who visits a collector with whose wife he appears to have an affair. Because of this liaison, a quarrel erupts as a result of which the artist leaves the apartment in a hurry. Arrival and departure are laid transparently over one another and the film is thereby cut by half. Someone who has the time to see this work several times will be rewarded because the further dimensions of the work are revealed. It's worth it to see the synchronicity of the moving pools of colour and the resulting relations and compositions even without the narration. It was a pity that the meaning of the film "One Second in Montreal" was almost completely distorted by a bad projection copy in the Film Museum (1). This film would have been able to have proven how untruthful the allegation is that Snow's films have an underlying humour - a statement the artist strongly protested against - yet was asserted by both moderators who questioned him in the Film Museum. It's up to each individual to give their free opinion about a work, but the intention and perception of the respective artist must be taken into consideration when analysing the work. Types of readings, even if only partially offered, should at least be considered - especially when these are answered with a clear "No" by the artist. Secession 1010 Vienna, Friedrichstrasse 12 Tel: 01/587 53 07 Fax: 01/587 53 07-34 Email: http://www.secession.at Opening hours: Tue-Sat 10-18, Sun 10-16 hours

1010 Wien, Friedrichstrasse 12
Tel: +43 1 587 53 07, Fax: +43 1 587 53 07-34
Email: office@secession.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di-So 14-18 h

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