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196 The Collected Writings of Michael Snow of Painting too. In Glares, each one of the units is a separate time in a way. It's a separate fixed look at the individual parts of the whole. In film too I am interested in trying to direct the spectator to an experiencing of the image as a "replaying," as you put it, of a past event but also with the present sense of "critically" seeing this representation . However I'm also interested in the "suspension of disbelief" that is involved in totally empathizing with an image. Most of your work also very actively involves the spectator in a process of analysis that has also to do with the use of time. I hope so. I think people generally look through photographs to the subject with the kind of primitive faith that they are being shown the subject. I'm involved in a certain kind of skepticism that is just pointing out that the photo is a shadow of some subject , and also a section of it. It's also something that is very distantly related to that subject, it's a photograph that has other kinds of values. This isn't to say that photography doesn't work as an information carrier, but I'm interested in making more of a present situation for the spectator than one that takes them away from the works. This "present situation" oddly enough involves a referral to the past. . . one asks "how was this made?" and the succession of observations a spectator might make are a temporal ordering that is a concentration of "how the work was made." Since photography is representational there is some exterior subject but sometimes the actual subject is also there. We were talking before about whether photography could be abstract, which is an issue in Painting because it's of painted surfaces. They existed but not in the same way as the people, buildings, nature and so on that usually comprise the subjects of photography. In Painting you don't know how big they were and in fact you don't even know whether they were those colours. So there's a really peculiar representational problem because it is not a painting, it's made of photographs ofpaintings. Morning in Holland is also abstract but there the subject is in it. In Painting you don't get to see the subject, as actual objects existing apart from their image. In the exhibition one would go from the most abstract or less concrete, projections , to an actual three-dimensional object. I wonder if that has to do with the whole process of image making? The exhibition is like turning that process inside out. It starts with an image and ends with an object which contains an image. The first work, Two Sides to Every Story, involves a certain kind of plastic skepticism. I was thinking how thin the film image is since it's merely light on a surface compared to paint or ink on a surface. The fact that it has no substance is kind of touching because it recreates the way we see when light falls on things. In that particular work I try to point out the thinness that is involved when you have three-dimensional things, people, so on, compressed into a two-sided thing. It's an involvement in the mystery of light really as much as it is a reduction of the illusion of depth. The illusion could be quite strong directly facing the images, but as you move around different points of view make it less strong; on the edges it disappears. You see the illusion more than the realism as you move around the sides. The image gets flatter and thinner, and thinner and thinner. The work escapes from the idea of looking out a window that usually happens when films are projected on a wall or when anything is put on a wall with a frame around it. It's amazing how windows are influential. They seem like metaphors for the eyes in the head; when you're in the house you're looking out the eyes and we are the brains. That was one thing I was thinking about in making Wavelength. Pierre Theberge: Conversation with Michael Snow 197 I think I'm stuck with certain contradictions about not being "at home" in the movement of time because the future and the past are contents of the mind and...


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