La Région Centrale
Michael Snow | 1971 | 180 minutes | 16mm | Color | Sound
Saturday, May 20, 2023, 7:30 pm
La région centrale is a three-hour film that artist Michael Snow (1928-2023) shot on location atop a plateau located about one hour by helicopter from the town of Sept-Îles, in Northern Quebec. Snow chose to film a deserted region without a trace of human life.
The artist had a special camera apparatus constructed by a technician from the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal. This apparatus is not seen in the film but is part of a later kinetic video sculpture. The filmmaker assembled the soundtrack from contact microphone recordings of original sounds from the apparatus and its tethered remote control unit.
In a contemporaneous review for Art Forum, Bill Simon wrote, “Michael Snow’s La Région Centrale can be described as heroic bordering on the apocalyptic. … It is an epochal film because of the extent of the camera movements and its transformation of space… La Région Centrale is a masterwork not simply of landscape, but also of the complex problems of representing landscape in the modern era.”
Emerson Dorsch presents the screening in collaboration with Moving Image Alliance, a Knight Foundation-invested studio project by artist Barron Sherer, founded to create a climate for appreciation and production of contemporary moving image art based on legacy cinema practices and technologies. Sherer’s project collaborates with media artists, galleries, and institutions through advocacy, instruction, and public performance.