Christopher Harris makes films and video installations that read African American historiography through the poetics and aesthetics of experimental cinema. His work employs manually and photo-chemically altered appropriated moving images, staged re-enactments of archival artifacts and interrogations of documentary conventions. His current project is a series of optically-printed 16mm experimental films in conversation with canonical works of African-American literature.
Christopher Harris, M.F.A., is the F. Wendell Miller Associate Professor and Head of Film and Video Production at the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Selected career highlights include:
- Short Films by Christopher Harris, American Fringe 2022, curated by Richard Peña and Livia Bloom Ingram, Cinémathèque Française, Paris, France (forthcoming November 2022)
- An Evening with Christopher Harris: New Restorations as part of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ Available Space film program, a “monthly series showcasing experimental and independent film and media” (July 2022)
- An Evening with Christopher Harris, special joint Modern Mondays/To Save and Project world premiere screening of still/here in a new digital restoration by the Academy Film Archive at the Museum of Modern Art (January 2022)
- still/here one of 47 titles included in the Black Light Retrospective, a survey of 20th century Black feature films, curated by Greg de Cuir Jr. for the 72nd Locarno Film Festival (August 2019)
- Featured artist at the 2018 Flaherty Seminar, curated by Kevin Jerome Everson and Greg de Cuir Jr.
His international exhibitions include a career retrospective at the Belo Horizonte International Short Film Festival (Brazil), solo screenings at Images Festival (Toronto), Encontro de Cinema Negro (Rio de Janeiro), Arsenal-Institute for Film and Video (Berlin) and a solo performance at the Essay Film Festival (London); additional exhibitions include solo screenings at the True/False Film Fest (Columbia, MO), the Brakhage Center Symposium (Boulder, CO) and the Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago, IL); a solo exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH); two-person screenings at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Washington, D.C.) and UnionDocs (Brooklyn); and group screenings at the 2021 New York Film Festival, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Artists' Film Biennial at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the VIENNALE-Vienna International Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, among many others.
In May of 2022, Harris received Prismatic Ground’s second annual Ground Glass Award for outstanding contribution in the field of experimental media. He was also the 2020-2021 Radcliffe-Film Study Center Fellow/David and Roberta Logie Fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. In addition to these honors, he received a 2020 Artist Project Grant from Los Angeles Filmforum, Media City Film Festival’s 2020 Chrysalis Fellowship, the 2019-20 Artist Residency Award from the Wexner Center for the Arts, a 2017 Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship and a 2015 Creative Capital grant. Writing about his work has appeared in Art in America, Cinema Scope Magazine, the Millennium Film Journal, and numerous books and periodicals. Interviews with Harris have appeared in Film Comment, Mubi.com, BOMB Magazine, and Film Quarterly among other print and online journals.