So Is This

So Is This

Michael Snow
Technical specifications: 
Digital File, Color, No sound
Date of acquisition: 
5 December 2017


Michael Snow (1929, Toronto) studied at Upper Canada College and the Ontario College of Art. His first solo exhibition was in 1957. He moved to New York for more than a decade with his first wife (artist Joyce Wieland) early on of the sixties. For Snow, this transfer caused a proliferation of ideas and creative connections and his work was reflected, gaining more and more recognition. In the early seventies he decided to return to Canada as "a consolidated figure, multiplied defined as a visual artist, filmmaker and musician," according to Martha Longford.

His work has appeared in international exhibitions in Europe, North America and South America. The works were included in the shows that marked the reopening of the Pompidou Center in Paris in 2000 and the MoMA in New York in 2005. In March 2006, his works were included in the Whitney Biennial.

The Canadian artist works in various media such as painting, sculpture, video, film, photography, holography, drawing, books and music. His best-known films are Wavelength (1967) and La Région Centrale (1971), with the first considered a milestone in avant-garde cinema.

The film without sound So Is This by Michael Snow, is a succession of simple words, which are reflected successively on the screen. The quality of the image varies, and the situation of the audience reading a movie is also special, creating a kind of conversation between the screen and the viewer. The film, which plays with the control of time, is based on the fact that the words that appear create messages, around the word "this" used in infinite combinations. This positions the viewer in the "now", in the present tense of the experience as a spectator.