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Sounds of Snow
Friday, November 13, 2020 from 5pm – 7pm
Live streaming on Base / Progetti per l’arte Instagram (base_progettiperlarte_
Base / Progetti per l’arte presents the new project specially conceived for the Base space, both in its physical and virtual form, by the famous Canadian artist Michal Snow, who will turn 92 on 10 December.
The title of the project Sounds of Snow focuses on the importance that has always overlaid the sound experience in the artist’s research, known since the end of the 1950s for experimenting with different media such as sculpture, painting, film and video installation. The exhibition in Florence is conceived as an all-encompassing experience in which the individual visual-sound works, by means of a temporalization program, make the space and the elements it contains “resonate”. This approach raises the question of what can be understood by “live experience” in a global horizon characterized by digital platforms and, today, also by a global pandemic that leads Europe into an inevitable second lockdown. In this regard, the artist recounts his exhibition / event in Florence in the form of a musical score: “The following performance must be repeated in its entirety twice. First the video work [shown in the great hall]: Snow In Vienna – 34 minutes. It is followed by the audio work [played in the second room with an amplified speaker]: Room – 6 minutes (3 minutes, but repeated twice). The experience continues with the video work [projected in the great hall]: Cityscape – 9 minutes. In turn followed by the audio work [broadcast in the second room with an amplified speaker]: Room – 9 minutes (3 minutes, but repeated 3 times).
The two-hour live broadcast offers an unpublished dialogue between the sound and video works that Michael Snow has created specifically for the space of Base in Florence that can be used online and specifically dedicated to the virtual public.
The works on display at Base in Florence are: Snow In Vienna, 34 minutes, colour, sound, is a chapter from a long-form documentary project called Fields of Snow that director Laurie Kwasnik has been producing about Snow’s music. The film documents a rare solo piano concert Snow gave at the Wiener Konzerthaus in 2012, a performance that the prolific musician is particularly proud of. Cityscape, 8:28 minutes, colour, sound 2019, invited to create a new film in ultra large format IMAX, Snow elected to focus on a view of his home city Toronto, as seen from the islands offshore. Recalling his three-hour landscape film La Région Centrale (1971), Snow applies similar camera movements – panning and rotating at different speeds – to activate the city skyline. The soundtrack is built on the Amen drum break, central to Drum and Bass music, an expression of the energy of the city. The sound uses playback speed as a compositional element, rhythmically in sync with the camera movements. Room, Sound installation 2017 2:16 minutes, starts at the bottom and goes to the top. Originally commissioned by LEVE (near Leon, Spain) for their annual sound edition, Snow performed and recorded this piano piece to be played back in an old barn in the oak forests of La Cepeda region that had been repurposed as a sound studio. For BASE, the original process is applied, in this room in Florence.
From December 3, the exhibition will be visible, in compliance with the restrictive measures of the latest Prime Minister’s Decree and subject to new updates, on a contingent basis and by reservation in line with current legislation in terms of safety.
Michael Snow (Toronto, Canada, 1928; lives and works in Toronto) in his long career has investigated different media to make a radical reflection on the nature of the tools used, but also to stimulate the perceptive and interpretative potential of the user. He left an indelible mark on the language of cinema in the 1964 work New York Eye and Ear Control in which he creates a dialogue between animation and real images, as well as introducing the sound of jazz music as a narrative turning point. His film Wavelength, which in 1967 was presented in various experimental film festivals and was immediately considered a masterpiece. Snow during the Seventies (with photographic works such as Authorization from 1969 and Sink from 1970) investigates in different directions the instant in which the reality of the object is translated into an image. Further his research also in the 1976 film Breakfast (Table Top Dolly) – in which the camera approaches the set table until it goes further and compresses everything against the wall – or with the painting The Squerr (Ch’art) of 1978, in which a grid of red lines is painted on the canvas with distortions as if it were deformed when viewed by a lens. Since the Eighties, with sculptures and large installations in public spaces, of which a good example is The Audience (1988/89) presented at Rogers Centre in Toronto, he has created both an ironic homage and an anthropological critique of the public at great events. While the evolution of digital entertainment techniques that have developed since the 1990s leads Snow – with sound works such as vinyl entitled The last LP from 1987 and with films such as that of 1990 entitled See You Later, Au Revoir or that of 2002 entitled The Solar Breath – to propose his own personal concept of spectacularization of a minimal event that would normally go unnoticed, in addition to analyzing the tension that the subject lives between the “here” and “there” by means of social platforms and globalized information. Among the many solo exhibitions of note in which the artist has recently participated: Closed Circuit, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain, 2018; Photo-Centric, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014; Recent Works, Vienna Secession, Vienna, Austria, 2012; Recent Snow, The Power Plant, Toronto, 2010. While among the group exhibitions to be mentioned: 3D: Double Vision, Art of the Americas Building, LACMA, Los Angeles, California, 2019; Biennale de l’Image Possible, Les Chiroux, Center culturelde Liege, Liege, Belgium, 2016; Pliure, Foundation Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris, France, 2015; Michael Snow: The Legacy of Wavelength, MoMa, New York, 2014; Builders: Canadian Biennial 2012, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 2012; Essential Cinema, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Light Box, Toronto, 2010.
Base / Progetti per l’arte is an idea of artists for artists. Base is a unique place for art practice in Italy. The activity, begun in 1998, is curated by a collective of artists who live and work in Tuscany, promoting in Florence, some of the most interesting aspects of art today. Base is a dialogue on contemporaneity open to an international discourse. Currently the Base artist collective is: Mario Airò, Marco Bagnoli, Massimo Bartolini, Vittorio Cavallini, Yuki Ichihashi, Paolo Masi, Massimo Nannucci, Maurizio Nannucci, Paolo Parisi, Remo Salvadori, Enrico Vezzi. Since its foundation, there have been more than sixty exhibitions including: Sol Lewitt, Marco Bagnoli, Alfredo Pirri, Cesare Pietroiusti, Jan Vercruysse, Niele Toroni, Michael Galasso, Luca Pancrazzi, John Nixon & Marco Fusinato, Heimo Zobernig, Ingo Springenschmid, Paolo Masi & Pier Luigi Tazzi, Antonio Muntadas, Robert Barry, Luca Vitone, Gino De Dominicis, Liliana Moro, Claude Closky, Remo Salvadori, Pietro Sanguineti, Liam Gillick, Massimo Bartolini, Mario Airò, Eva Marisaldi, Rainer Ganahl, François Morellet, Bernhard Rüdiger, Nedko Solakov e Slava Nakovska, Olaf Nicolai, Giuliano Scabia, Kinkaleri, Steve Piccolo & Gak Sato, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Matt Mullican, Michel Verjux, Elisabetta Benassi, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Pietro Riparbelli, Simone Berti, Jeppe Hein, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Jonathan Monk, Peter Kogler, Carsten Nicolai, Surasi Kusulwong, Franz West, Tino Sehgal, Nico Dockx, Grazia Toderi, Armin Linke, Davide Bertocchi, Pierre Bismuth, Olivier Mosset, Stefano Arienti, Erwin Wurm, Thomas Bayrle, Hans Schabus, Maurizio Mochetti, Lawrence Weiner, Basetalks(!) (Gum Studio, Brown Project Space, 26cc, Sottobosco, Trastevere 259), Amedeo Martegani, Gianni Caravaggio, Piero Golia, David Tremlett, Franco Vaccari, Radicaltools (Ufo, Gianni Pettena, Archizoom, Zziggurat, Remo Buti, 9999, Superstudio), Koo Jeong-A, Christian Jankowski, Giuseppe Gabellone, Martin Creed, Ken Lum, BaseOpen (Margherita Moscardini, Francesco Fonassi, Giuseppe Stampone, Giulio Delvé, Gaia Geraci, Marcello Spada, Jacopo Miliani, Riccardo Giacconi, Jaya Cozzani/Marco Andrea Magni/Agostino Osio), Jiří Kovanda, Nicole Miller, Luca Trevisani, Richard Long, Roman Ondak, Ryan Gander, Gerhard Merz, Ian Kiaer, vedovamazzei, Karin Sander, Francesco Arena who have presented new projects conceived for the space. Next exhibitions: Cesare Viel, Deimantas Narkevicius, Jose Davila, Simon Fujiwara, Pierre Huyghe, Rosa Barba, Adrian Paci, ….
December 3 – December 17, 2020
Base / Progetti per l’arte
via San Niccolò 18r / Firenze
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