press release

'The actors in the events-that-become-objects that are my photographic works are the manipulable variables of photographic image-making. That cameras are mirrors with memories is the first important understanding. That 'subjects' are transformed to become photographs is the second.'

The Jack Shainman Gallery is proud to present Powers of Two an exhibition by legendary filmmaker, photographer, painter, sculptor and musician, Michael Snow. Presenting Snow’s recent photographic works, the exhibition is concerned, in many different ways, with dualities. The exhibition also marks the launch of 'Biographie' a 240-page all-image book by Snow published by the Editions La lettre volée of Bruxelles with the collaboration of the Jack Shainman Gallery. In addition, Snow will be showing an early group of 'Walking Women' drawings from 1961-1967.

'Powers of Two,' a mathematical term, is the title of one of the works in the exhibition but the term also usefully describes all of the works in that they involve duos, dichotomies, and complementaries. A 16 ft. x 9 ft. x 1/32 inch two-sided, positive photographic transparency in 4 sheets, 'Powers of Two' challenges our perception and as well as the two-dimensional presentation of three-dimensional space:

'The way we perceive the space, objects, people in representations is a kind of reading. We 'think' the rooms, furniture, people that are palpably not there. 'Powers of Two' makes this 'there', 'not-there' experience available…it’s a physical, immaterial, Private and Public intercourse. Viewer and Viewed, 'Front' and 'Back' are twinned protagonists in 'Powers of Two' but also in different ways in the exhibition.'

The Walking Woman drawings presented here are just a small sampling of the many hundreds of Walking Women works made by Snow in the period pre-dating his seminal film 'Wavelength'. Made using both the positive and negative halves of stencil, the 'Walking Woman' works transmitted this image through a variety of mediums, paintings, cut-steel sculptures, film and graffitied images in public spaces.

'Biographie' Snow’s new all-image book is subtitled 'Of the Walking Woman (1961-1967), 2004.' Drawn from the vast archive of images he has assembled over the past four decades, the book reproduces images of the 'Walking Woman' in its many incarnations; including installations, film stills, and gallery views. Like *Corpus Collosum (2001) his celebrated recent film, 'Biographie' reimagines Snow’s artistic history in the guise of a new work, whose form dictates the work’s meaning. Snow describes the book as:

'a non-chronological pictorial construct of juxtapositions and Duplications, rectos and versos and graphic memories. It’s a Sex and Reproduction, Theme and Variations….a Finnegan’s Wake.'


Michael Snow "Powers of Two"