This image taken from the film shows a landscape tilted at a 145-degree angle. The horizon and a bit of clear sky are compressed into the bottom left corner. The rocky ground occupies most of the image.

Michael Snow

(b. Toronto 1928)


La région centrale (excerpt)

[The Central Region]


16mm film, colour, sound, 180 min

Purchased in 1974

National Gallery of Canada, 30983

Courtesy of the artist

© Michael Snow

La région centrale [The Central Region] depicts a deserted landscape north of Sept-Îles, Quebec, filmed at different times of the day from varying angles at fluctuating speeds. Mounted on a rotating robotic arm, the camera swirls in ever-changing movements that disorient and dizzy the viewer. The soundtrack is composed of intermittent mechanical sounds that recall a far-off train whistle. Exploiting the technical and creative possibilities of the camera and editing in La région centrale, Michael Snow produced a new take on a staple of Canadian art history: the landscape genre.

Toronto-based Michael Snow is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice is characterized by a variety of mediums and techniques that span the visual arts, experimental film and music. Snow uses the mechanisms of each means of expression to create self-referential works, in which the making of the piece becomes the subject. A pioneer of multimedia art, Snow is best known for his experimental films and videos, which are widely shown and hailed on the international art scene.


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