Now available: new prints, films & files from Julie Murray

Posted November 18th, 2018 in New Acquisitions, New Films, News / Events

Julie Murray has deposited two 16mm blowups of early Super 8 work; two 16mm films previously unavailable through Canyon; nine new prints of works already in the catalog; and seven files representing her recent digital work.

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FF (1986 | 10 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

New 16mm blowup print courtesy of the National Film Preservation Foundation!

FF is around three years’ worth of collected footage culled from all sources in a variety of formats, from dumpsters to video. It is put together in such a way as to provide miniature, almost instantaneous fictions, confined and numerous, where meaning can occur between the frames as much as it might in the frame. Overall, the film could be described as a visual assault as well as a reference to the invasive nature of the act of taking photographs and more abstractedly with the problem of image or picture functioning as representation of some or all aspects of an object or thing.

While the movements and the pace of the film are structured as to suggest relentlessness and insistence of control, the assembly of images therein serve to illustrate the nervous breakdown of the characters represented as their actions, forced into exact repetitions, lose their original expression and take on a new, more ominous existence.

The original condition of the found footage (damaged, scratched, etc.) and the method and process of rephotographing it are intended to be as much a vital part of the film as is the content re-represented. (FF is originally known as Fuck Face).


Tr’cheot’my P’y (1988 | 3.5 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

New 16mm blowup print courtesy of the National Film Preservation Foundation!

TR’CHEOT’MY P’Y is a three-and-a-half minute hiccuping audio news segment to which footage from many sources is loosely choreographed. The film is intended as a portrait of the body and embodiment, systems of information and representations of the body itself.

As the creamy-voiced news announcer trips over news items in and out of sync with the background beat, the visuals are treated in such a way as to reduce the complexity of individual gesture and action to a simple and finite set of rather robotic movements. In this way, there is then little difference between the rhythm of the pornographic sexual encounter and that of the cartoon sports characters, implying a lack of difference in the potential meaning of these individual actions. This is further emphasized by the fragmented and repetitious voice of the announcer, which, while utilizing a small and specific range in modulation, conveys no sense of being conscious of the tragedy of the events recounted.

The sexually/surgically suggestive title has some of its vowels removed in reference to the idea of vowels being holes in the body of the word itself.

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A Legend of Parts (1990 | 10 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

New 16mm blowup print courtesy of the National Film Preservation Foundation!

A LEGEND OF PARTS presents a history of civilization condensed into ten minutes in a less-than-historically-accurate manner where the actions of the prehistoric animals changing into those of sociopolitical “man” careening towards the organized chaos of ultimate annihilation become hopelessly confused and reversed; where the random energy of lightning itself is endowed with the colors of the flag.

In a somewhat cartoonish and childish manner we are asked to ponder our gaseous beginnings and subsequent evolution while at the same time are offered the position of spectator in space and with that, the illusion that in this position we are arbiters of world events since we see and are shown so much. We have forgotten for these moments that we are silent, absorbing and not administering. We are permitted to forget also that we ourselves are part of the unconscious of these systems, that we are the scurrying insects watched in fascination.

The film, then, is the result of the tapping of the image and sound bank of a brain that has spectated and speculated silently all things relatively equally and is now expelling a composite of these pieces of information in the following Tourrettescopic manner.

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Conscious (1993 | 10 minutes | COLOR | SILENT)

Restored print courtesy of the National Film Preservation Foundation!

In this montage a melding of camera original and found material hints at a realization which is evident only in the fissures of splintered associations. Obscured among visceral absurdities and lightweight witticisms there seeps a viscera, an acrid recollection, coiled in the intangibles of puzzled shadows.

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Anathema (1995 | 7 minutes | COLOR | OPT)

Doubt assails the doctor and his assistants, who, through ritualized posturing, admit themselves to an arena of abject violence to inherit the disease they believe to be death. Home spun film footage reveals a number of points in this ceremony where through feeble act and over-wrought desire contamination mortifies catharsis.

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If You Stand With Your Back to the Slowing of the Speed of Light in Water (1999 | 18 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

“The film aims to illuminate a vital sense innate to perception where inversion is counterbalance and focal myopia the articulation of space”.
– Julie Murray

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Micromoth (2000 | 6 minutes | COLOR | OPT)

A camera attached to a microscope facilitates the trawling of spaces shaped by small dead things in tiny chambers between the naked eye and the mansions of molecules.

Infinitely devisable focal planes denote the topography and tilt of an insect limb, large and tortuous as a conifer, or a torso brown as maple syrup, which repeatedly emerge and dissolve through the lens as if composed of vapor.


I Began to Wish (2003 | 5 minutes | COLOR | SILENT)

The sea sucks the seed back into the ocean, the flowers fold like umbrellas, shoots recoil into hiding, in seeds that shrink. The plants accelerate their tremble and wobble and glass unbreaks all around them. Strawberries blanch and tomatoes grow pale. The father, leering, holds forth a flower and suddenly his smile fades to awful seriousness. In an odd concentrated ritual the father and son carefully tip over all the flower pots, laying the plants to rest and it is in this end, around the time he figures the flowers are talking to him, that the son wishes his father had killed him.

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Fl.oz (2003 | 8 minutes | COLOR | SILENT)

The most striking thing about observing Niagara Falls is that they don’t seem to be falling at all. Being so vast they give the impression of doing just the opposite. This idea comes to mind and the body to feel elevated and rotated with its force.

Like as ‘look’ is to ‘leap’, naming this portrait of Niagara’s water-ous site, “Fl.oz” is descriptive by way of a metaphoric matrix of bubbly spit volleyed from the tip of the tongue to contribute to all the world’s great oceans in a barrel-suited outfit of onomatopoeic humor, is an attempt to allude to all that is other than looking that has to do with apprehension.


Deliquium (2003 | 15 minutes | COLOR | OPT)

Hidden among the pounding of animal hides,
All tamped into maps, their shapes
Explicit replicate butterfly wings, lie the motives of Lír.
The king who paid improper attention to his children.

From that first fascination
And it’s lascivious gaze,
Came the gorged desire for substance,
Among the skins,
Nets, shadows and milk bottles
Pried from the stomachs of metal fish,
Steam, smoke and things that won’t stay,
Speared, dangled, measured, divined.
All dreamed through wallpaper,
Or dowsed from something they drowned in long ago.

Snowed in on either side,
The swans,
Lír’s beloved children,
Begin their 800 year journey.
From lake to sea
A thousand more.

– JM


Orchard (2004 | 8 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Much of the footage that comprises Orchard is of a 19c ruins that included a walled orchard in and area known as Rostellen in southwest Ireland. It is set deep in the woods and the crumbling brick and mortar of the broken walls has become the anchor for the roots of slender trees, so uninhibited for all this time that they reach twenty feet in height and have thick roots that follow like slow lazy trickles of water and in other places branch and wind over the brickwork in an apparently intelligent arterial arrangement reminiscent of the human body. Some footage of Central Park is in there, as well as Niagara Falls, the main Dublin-to-Cork road and a thin smoking woods on the outskirts of Rosslare, Co. Waterford

These are facts may be incidental to the film’s eventual form, which winds the images into an arrangement of continuous wandering. All this is attended by environmental whispering sounds until a voice calls out toward the end, in dream-bound recognition, to a figure from the far, far past.

– JM

Distance (reflect)

Distance (2010 | 12 minutes | COLOR | OPT)

Available from Canyon for the first time!

Time spent at two shores, one thinly populated, the other a wasteland, joined by the interluency of various paths taken, each bit real enough, though exact measures being obscurely indicated. Notions of home and its ache are, to borrow a phrase, “not capable of being told unless by far-off hints and adumbrations.”

Line of Apsides goat

Line of Apsides  (2014 | 9 minutes | COLOR | SILENT)

Available from Canyon for the first time!

Line of Apsides is the edited original of footage shot and processed at Film Farm (The Independent Imaging Retreat in Mount Forest, Ontario, Canada) in 2006 wherein objects animate and inert were interrogated under an microscope and goats were interviewed daily. -JM

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Untitled (earth) (2017 | 10 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Available as an exhibition file.

A duet of found film material and video. The 35mm movie film image is unraveled without a shutter and filtered through video capture electronics. Still recognizable, although hazy and drifting in soft pink abstracts, figures in character emerge and fade, passing through the American desert landscape like phantoms.

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The Astronomer’s Dream (2017 | 4.5 minutes | COLOR | SILENT)

Available as an exhibition file.

The Astronomer’s Dream conjoins star lit heavens in compressed timeframes with sojourns under the microscope on double-exposed rolls of Kodak 7248. An exercise in memory and trust, the film was variously exposed at night in landscapes using timelapse, then rewound and exposed again over a microscope. The shimmering lake water under a racing moon merges unpredictably with pollens and insect bits threading the infinite with the infinitesimal.

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Shored Against A Ruin (2017 | 10 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Available as an exhibition file.

A body of water, the body of the sky and figures on ground, shored against one another in rhythms of waves abrading a field framed for a new anxiety.

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Radius (2017 | 8 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Available as an exhibition file.

Calculating the angle of awe at a gas station in rural Midwest.

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Our Eyes Are Armed (2017 | 13 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Available as an exhibition file.

A composition of scenes and sounds in a montage reflecting poetic and musical forms. The camera, a toy, records only in black with a crude plastic lens which softens and distorts pictorial detail, creating ample room for the mind’s eye to roam and query, or not, the nature of image, meaning and attachment.

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Frequency Objects (2017 | 5.5 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Available as an exhibition file.

Frequency Objects, a photogram, creates a rhythmic friction between a chaotic animation of old family photographic negatives and the smooth motion of found movie images.

Through imprecise stops and starts image fragments appear. The glacial motion of figures falling half in and half out of the frame and faces suddenly happened upon amid the abstract patterns of fabric and opaque objects producing faithful shadows of themselves.

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1162017 (Nov 6th 2017) (2017 | 5.5 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Available as an exhibition file.

A brief account of visual moments recorded at Kalona Horse Sales Barn auction, IA.

The animals are numbered as in some cases are their days.