The Hawn Gallery presents
Featuring a New Experimental Film by Mike Morris
On view: August 20 – November 4, 2018
at the Hawn Gallery, located in the Hamon Arts Library at SMU
Public Opening Reception Friday, September 14, 5 -7pm
Mike Morris will give a gallery talk at 5:45 pm
ARK is a cinematic installation featuring a film by Michael A. Morris made from archival 35mm film prints held in the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection. This work is installed on a looping film system devised by the Collection’s Jeremy Spracklen and Scott Martin, and in conjunction with Brad Miller from Film-Tech Cinema Systems. The looping film is a new mosaic of images and sounds created by contact printing and hand processing of short lengths of films selected from the archive. Highlighting the mechanics of projection typically hidden from the viewer, the space of the Hawn Gallery performs as a small cinema. The metaphor of both Noah’s Ark and the Ark of the Covenant serves as a parallel for the archive as it rescues hundreds of films from the deluge of time. These films are reactivated by bringing them back into the light and onto the screen in a new looping film installation. Such assemblage embodies our cinematic heritage.
ARK is a film made from 35mm prints held in the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection’s archive. The film was made from a selection of individual films in the darkroom to create new contact printed strips of film. The process involved experimenting with methods of exposure in response to the visibility of the 35mm projector, normally hidden in a booth behind the audience. The film is based on a rare version of the 1928 silent epic Noah’s Ark, which makes use of optical sound added in the 1950s, along with a number of other films. The Ark depicted in the film is intended as a stand-in for the archive, a holding place to preserve films from the passage of time and a refuge from which to repopulate the world with images.
The G. William Jones Film and Video Collection was founded in 1970 by Dr. G William Jones, a collector and scholar of cinema and religious studies. The Collection supports instruction and research in the Meadows School of the Arts and the global moving image preservation and research community. The Collection’s primary purpose is to support education through the study, preservation, and presentation of moving images. To this end, the Collection maintains moving images in a wide variety of formats, examples of related equipment, print materials associated with moving images, and a climate-controlled storage facility.
ARK’s filmmaker Mike Morris is an artist and educator based in Dallas, Texas. Morris works primarily with film, video, and expanded cinema forms. His work responds to the rapid changes in how moving images are created and experienced in the 21stst century, affirming the traditional space of experiencing cinema while also exploring the implications of new media. He has performed and screened his films and videos at museums, galleries, micro-cinemas, and film festivals internationally, including events at Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, The International Symposium of Electronic Art in Vancouver, Oak Cliff Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, San Francisco Cinematheque, and the Texas Biennial.
Featured image: ARK, film still, 35 MM, footage from G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, Hamon Arts Library, SMU
ARK is curated by Emily Rueggeberg
Special thanks to Brad Miller and Friends of SMU Libraries
Sponsored by the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection