"I am interested in Cinema as a model for our capacity as humans to record, store and recall images. My work deals with the passage of time, both on a historical and immediate level and I draw on a variety of sources, including original footage and archival material. Hopefully viewers become engaged with the images from the past and brought into the subtext of the film, while also aware that they are watching a film in the present. I am continuing to develop the means by which these two competing realities co-exist. I am trying to straddle subject and object, shot and found, truth and fiction. I hope to bring audiences into new and challenging states of viewership."

Trained as a painter, Bill Morrison works from multiple sources including newsreel outtakes, educational films, and his own cinematography. An archaeologist of distressed and decayed archival footage, he fashions it into new work which both serves to reanimate the past and to draw an analogy between the fragile and ephemeral nature of celluloid and human mortality. Highly performative, the work draws on activities and materials of music and live theatre. His film Decasia was conceived as a live multidisciplinary event to be seen on three enormous screens with fifty-five musicians behind them performing an original symphony by composer Michael Gordon. Independent collaboration with multiple artists—à la Cage and Cunningham—is a core part of his practice. He has created projected set work for the experimental performance ensemble Ridge Theatre for more than a decade. What he calls his “house of ideas,” the reoccurring imagery that populates his work, may be seen as a personal and hypnotic archive.

Born 1965, Chicago, Illinois
Lives in New York City
1989 B.F.A., Cooper Union School of Art, New York

2006 The Highwater Trilogy
2006 Who By Water (collaborative live performance)
2005 How To Pray
2005 Shelter (collaborative live performance)
2005 Outerborough
2004 Gotham (collaborative live performance)
2004 Light Is Calling
2003 The Mesmerist
2002 Decasia
2001 Decasia Live (collaborative live performance)
2000 Trinity
2000 Ghost Trip
1996 The Film of Her
1993 The Death Train
1992 Footprints

2004 Light Is Calling, Best Film: Interfilm Berlin; L’Étrange Festival, Paris
2004 Acadia Summer Arts Residency Program
2004 National Endowment for the Arts
2003 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Fellowship
2003 New York State Council on the Arts, Individual Artist
2003 Ucross Foundation Residency
2001 Creative Capital Foundation Award
2001 Village Voice Obie Award, Collaborative Design
2001 New York Foundation for the Arts
2000 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship
2000 MacDowell Colony Residency
1993,03 NY Dance and Performance Award (Bessie), Projection Design

2006 Festspielhaüs, Decasia Live, St. Pölten, Austria
2006 Walt Disney Concert Hall, Decasia Live, Los Angeles
2006 Merkin Hall, Who By Water (World premiere, live), New York
2005 Brooklyn Academy of Music, Shelter (US premiere, live), New York
2005 Maya Stendhal Gallery, High Waters (recent oil paintings and films), New York
2005 New Zealand Film Festival, Retrospective (film), Wellington and Auckland
2005 Royal Festival Hall, Gotham (International premiere, live), London
2004 Viennale, Retrospective (film), Vienna
2004 St. Ann’s Warehouse, Decasia Live (US premiere, live), New York
2004 Forum des Images: L’Étrange Festival (Retrospective, film), Paris
2004 Cinémathèque Quebecoise, (Retrospective, film), Montreal
2004 Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, Gotham (World premiere, live), New York
2004 Sundance Film Festival; International Film Festival Rotterdam, Light Is Calling
2004 World Financial Center, The Mesmerist (World premiere, live), New York
2003 Maya Stendhal Gallery, Recent work (films and silkscreen prints), New York
2003 Tate Modern, Decasia (UK theatrical release, film), London
2002 Sundance Film Festival; International Film Festival Rotterdam, Decasia (film)
2001 European Music Month, Decasia Live (World premiere, live), Basel
1998 Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Scratch, Paris; Flaherty Film Seminar
1997 Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Retrospective (film), Buenos Aires


Museum of Modern Art, (film), New York