- Michael Snow |
- 1988 |
- 50 minutes |
- COLOR |
Rental Format(s): 16mm
"In SEATED FIGURES ... Michael Snow again explores the ground zero of motion pictures - this time literally. Most simply described, the film ... is a 40-minute consideration of a landscape from the perspective of an exhaust pipe. The artist appears to have bolted his camera, lens down, to a metal arm extending off the back of a truck ... then driven over asphalt and dirt roads, out to the beach, along a riverbed, and through a field of daisies. Although hypnotic, the movement is not continuous. The vehicle stops, reverses direction, then accelerates to produce a diagonally striated forcefield.
"For all his conceptual sophistication, Snow subscribes to a casual, all-encompassing Cage aesthetic. He's deceptively artless, a master of the visual deadpan. While trafficking in geological abstraction, he arrests the film's frantic motion, freezing some blurry onrush or a frame of flowing water. A soundtrack of coughs, yawns, and humming projector creates a further displacement. The images are distanced - accompanied by the muffled noises of an audience watching a movie. Hence the mysteriously inert title. SEATED FIGURES is about its audience. Not only are we sent flying face down over the earth, but Snow reverses the oldest concept in image-making - he juxtaposes our seated, static figures against a constantly moving ground."
- J. Hoberman, The Village Voice