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Michael Snow: Yes Snow Show - BFI Southbank

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AN EXHIBITION of work by award-winning filmmaker Michael Snow, Yes Snow Show, will be on display in the gallery at BFI Southbank from December 5, 2008 to February 1, 2009.

Michael Snow is renowned as a pioneering, award-winning filmmaker, influencing artists and filmmakers such as Bill Viola, Dan Graham, Wim Wenders and Paul McCarthy. With a career spanning six decades, he has been described as a giant of the avant-garde world.

Among Canada’s most important living artists, and now in his 80th year, he is best known for Wavelength (1967), one of the most influential experimental films ever made. Snow has pioneered the use of video and expanded film and continues to push the limits of filmmaking.

The show is accompanied by screenings of his seminal film work in the cinemas, some of which will be introduced by Snow himself.

Born in Toronto in 1929, Snow’s career has included music, sound installations, sculpture, photo-works, holography and painting as well as filmmaking. He had his first solo exhibition in 1957 and since then his work has appeared in exhibitions across Europe, North America and South America. Yes Snow Show is the first UK exhibition solely dedicated to Snow’s moving image work for a gallery context, and brings together a number of works previously unseen in Britain.

Among the work on show is Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids) 2002, an unaltered recording of a natural phenomenon – the subject is a window with invisible wind making the curtains billow forward and sucking back, an event described by Snow as ‘pure solar magic’. Most of the works on show are recent with the exception of very early experimental video piece, Observer which was made in 1974.

In 2004, the Sorbonne in Paris awarded Snow an honorary doctorate. The last artist to receive this award was Pablo Picasso.

Michael Snow in Conversation – Saturday, December 6 at 6:10pm (NFT 3). Tickets: £5.

Michael Snow will be in discussion with BFI Head of Exhibitions Elisabetta Fabrizi and Chris Meigh Andrews, artist and academic.

Screenings

La Région Centrale, 1971, Dir. Michael Snow, 180 minutes – Friday, December 5 at 7pm (NFT 3), with introduction by Michael Snow. Tickets £5.

Triage, 2004, Dir. Michael Snow and Carl Brown, 30 minutes + A Casing Shelved, 1970, Dir. Michael Snow, 40 minutes – Saturday, December 6 at 8:30pm (NFT 3), with performance by Michael Snow. Tickets £5.

WVLNT (Wavelength for Those Who Don’t Have the Time. Originally 45 Minutes. Now 15!) 1966-7/2003, Dir. Michael Snow, 15 minutes (on loop) – Sunday, December 7 from 12 to 6pm (Studio). FREE.

Wavelength (1966/67), 45 minutes + One Second in Montreal (1969, B/W silent), 26 minutes – Wednesday, January 7 at 6:20pm (NFT 2).

Wavelength (1966/67), 45 minutes + discussion – Thursday, January 15 at 6:10pm (NFT 3).

See you later/Au revoir (1990), 18 minutes + back and forth (1968/69), 53 minutes – Friday, January 16 at 6:10pm (NFT 3).

REVERBERLIN (2007) DVD, 55 minutes + The Living Room (2000), 20 minutes – Sunday, January 18 at 6:20 (NFT 2).

Presents (1981), 90 minutes – Saturday, January 24 at 6:20pm (NFT 2).

Gallery admission: free.

Times: Tuesday to Sundays (and Bank Holiday Mondays) from 11am to 8pm.

Telephone: Daily information on 020 7633 0274, box office on 020 79283232.

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XT