Michael Snow: So Is This / Manifesta 7, Fortezza / Franzensfeste

One of the videos shown at the fortress in Fortezza / Franzensfeste as part of the exhibition “Scenarios”, is Michael Snow’s 1982 film “So Is This”. Michael Snow (born 1929) is a Canadian artist who works in various media such as painting, sculpture, photography and film. The film “So Is This” (16mm, b&w, silent, 45 minutes) is a text in which each shot is a single word. This episode shows a short excerpt from the film.
“Snow takes full advantage of his film’s system of discourse to twit restless audiences… A lot of this is pretty funny but SO IS THIS is more than a series of gags. Snow manages to defamiliarize both film and language, creating a kind of moving concrete poetry while throwing a monkey wrench into a theoretical debate (is film a language?) that has been going on sporadically for 60 years… If you let it, Snow’s film stretches your definition of what film is – that’s cinema and SO IS THIS.” – J. Hoberman, The Village Voice.
“A silent film of 45 minutes consisting of single words of this script or score placed on the screen one by one, one after another, for specific lengths of time… Several different strategies were employed on timing words/passages of the film. Image quality changes too, and the situation of an audience reading a film is a special one, not to be duplicated by reading this.” – Michael Snow.
Manifesta 7, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art. Scenarios. Curated by Adam Budak, Anselm Franke / Hila Peleg, Raqs Media Collective. July 26, 2008.

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