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Michael Snow Pushes Every Possible Button of Artistic Expression at Klosterfelde
Michael Snow, Piano Sculpture, 2009. Installation, 4 simultaneous video projections with sound, 14 min. loop. Photo: Courtesy Klosterfelde.
BERLIN.- Works by Michael Snow: Piano Sculpture and Sex is Michael Snow’s second exhibition at Klosterfelde. With his work of the past 50 years, the Canadian artist (born in 1928) has pushed just about every possible button of artistic expression there is. A pioneer of early experimental film, Michael Snow has tested out such diverse media as painting, photography, installation, video, musical improvisation and performance. Led by a rigorous interest in the particular medium and a high keenness to experiment with its material qualities and constraints, the artist playfully addresses questions of representation and conventions of perception. While the first exhibition at the gallery in 2002 focused on Snow’s sound-works, juxtaposing installations of cassette players, live recordings of his band CCMC, and CD-books, Piano Sculpture and Sex creates a survey with early drawings from the 50’s, sculptures and photographs from the 80’s, various editions and a new video installation.

Piano Sculpture (2009) is the main piece in the show. Four video images are projected on the four walls of the room, showing the artist`s arms and hands engaged physically with the instrument. Each image showing a piano solo, comprising variations on a pre-determined musical vocabulary, the installation conjures up a noisy and dense, space occupying piano quartet. At the same time live recording, film and sculpture, Piano Sculpture synthesizes the concurrent careers of the artist and musician. Sound as sculpture - likening the piano to sculptural material, the work becomes "hand-made", with the hands paralleling gestures that one might use in making an object. The moving image documents the genesis of the three-dimensional soundscape.

The other pieces exhibited here under the title Sex, are an ambiguous play on photography, eroticism, the human body and the tension between representation and voyeurism. In Revue (1986), for instance, ‘Penthouse’ magazine pages were rephotographed by Snow only to be reprinted in another magazine, ‘Photo Communiqué’. In Stereo (1982), the breasts of the depicted women are concealed and equally dramatized by the plexiglass case and black cardboard telescopes. Paris de jugement Le and/or State of the Arts (2003) is a photographic print on canvas, showing the back view of three naked women looking at the painted bodies of Cézanne’s ‘Bathers’. The duplication of the voyeuristic gaze is reflected in the reduplication of layers (viewer - canvas - photograph - viewer - canvas).

Klosterfelde | Michael Snow | "Piano Sculpture" |

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