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New Artist Member: Michael Alexander Morris

Posted October 1st, 2021 in Announcements, New Acquisitions, New Digital Files, New Films, News / Events

Canyon Cinema is pleased to welcome Michael Alexander Morris to the collection!

Michael A. Morris is an artist and educator based in Cairo, Egypt, and Dallas, Texas. His work responds to the rapid changes in how moving images are created and experienced in the 21st century, affirming the traditional space of experiencing cinema while also exploring the implications of new media. He uses the term “media ontology” to describe how digital and photochemical media interact in his films, installations, and expanded cinema performances. Morris has presented his work at museums, galleries, microcinemas, and film festivals internationally, including Crossroads at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, MediaLive at Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, The International Symposium of Electronic Art in Vancouver, Microscope Gallery, Istanbul International Experimental Film Festival, The Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Artists’ Television Access. Morris has also maintained an active curatorial practice, serving as creative director of the Dallas Medianale in 2015 and 2017, assisting in programming for Dallas VideoFest and the Oak Cliff Film Festival, and curating gallery exhibitions and screenings. He founded the Dallas/Fort Worth Experimental Film Society along with musician and cultural organizer Lily Taylor.

Two of Michael’s films are now available from Canyon in multiple formats:

ARK (2018, 7 minutes, b&w, sound, 35mm or digital file)

ARK is a film made from 35mm prints held in the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection’s archive. The metaphor of the ark serves as a parallel for the archive as it rescues hundreds of films from the deluge of time and acts as a refuge from which to repopulate the world with images.

Blue Movie (2016, 7 minutes, color, sound, 16mm or digital file)

Blue Movie is an elegiac tribute to the late Juanita Slusher, a Dallas-based exotic dancer well known in the 50s and 60s as “Candy Barr.” Footage from the stag-film Smart Alec, a film given to me by my grandfather, is used as the majority of the source imagery set to a rendition of “Autumn Leaves” performed by Dallas-based vocalist Lily Taylor. The song was noted by Candy Barr as her favorite to dance to, while also noting that she viewed her dancing as a form of creative expression. The silver-based emulsion of the film was replaced with cyanotype chemistry and laid under the sun to create the blue image.