Tate Modern

Michael Snow

Natalie Bell Building Level 4 West

Michael Snow Slidelength 1969-71, Museum of Modern Art

Michael Snow explores the characteristics of a range of media, and raises questions of time, movement and perception

Over six decades Snow has worked across film, photography, video, painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, performance, holograms and music. In his films and slide projections he investigates the properties of light, transparency, duration and framing.

Snow created Slidelength 1969–71 as a counterpart to his landmark structural film Wavelength 1967. While the organisational structure of the latter is imposed by the zoom of the camera, Slidelength is structured by the fixed intervals of the slide projector. This twenty-minute work comprises eighty slides, including film stills from Wavelength. Slides show different light sources (electric lamps, windows and the camera flash) being used to illuminate transparent colour filters. Snow projects onto and through the material, varying the angles of the filters, with the result that his hands are sometimes visible. This reveals the processes involved in creating the work and appeals to the sense of touch as well as sight.

Projectors are often hidden from view, but here the apparatus is an integral part of the work. By placing it on a plinth within the display space Snow draws attention to its physical form and sculptural qualities.

Curated by Andrea Lissoni and Carly Whitefield


Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG
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