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Michael Snow at the Venice Biennale

The Story


Painter, musician, sculptor, filmmaker: Michael Snow is an artist who has successfully moved from one artistic medium to another. In 1970, Snow is in Italy for a special exhibition of his art at the Venice Biennale, and he is working on a project using still photography. CBC's cameras give a glimpse of the Venice exhibit and Snow's tour around the city as he takes colour Polaroid shots for his next work. For the series Telescope, Snow talks about his views on his own art and creativity, his early love for playing and listening to jazz, and his life as an artist.

Broadcast Medium: Television
Program: Telescope
Host: Ken Cavanagh
Guest: Michael Snow, Joyce Wieland
Broadcast Date: Dec. 29, 1970
Duration: 23:02

Did You know?


• Michael Snow was born Dec. 10, 1929, in Toronto. While attending the Ontario College of Art he played traditional jazz piano, then learned to play the trumpet during the 1950s, performing with the Artists' Jazz Band in the 1960s. He was a founding member of the Canadian Creative Music Collective, which was formed in 1974 and became known as the CCMC.

• The art piece that Snow was working on during the filming of this program became known as Venetian Blind, and consists of 24 wood-framed Ektacolour prints.

• Snow's sculpture Walking Woman Works appeared in the Ontario pavilion at Expo 67, and was the culmination of work he did between 1961 and 1967. In 1979 he was commissioned to create an art installation for the new Eaton Centre, and he created the flying geese called Flight Stop. He was also commissioned to create The Spectral Image, a holographic image work for Expo 86 in Vancouver.

• In 2000, he won a Governor General's Award in recognition of his work in experimental film.  He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2012.


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