In-person: Barbara Hammer (11/9, 11/10).
By the very nature of her multifaceted identity, lesbian feminist filmmaker and artist Barbara Hammer (b. 1939) has maintained a formal fluidity in her half-century-long practice effectively unparalleled by any living moving image maker. From her first Super 8 experiment, Schizy (1968), Hammer gave herself permission to fearlessly follow her instincts. Through her explicit and politically-charged work of the 1970s to her material interactions and printing exercises of the 1980s and continuing with her seamless adoption of analog and digital video, Hammer’s visual lyricism and sensuality dance invariably within each of her over 80 moving image works in a conscious, active (re)writing and (re)defining of a singular cinematic language.
Capturing subjects considered verboten—joyous lesbian sensuality, female sexual pleasure, aging, death and dying, menstruation—Hammer boldly confronts normative representations of women and characterizations of gender expression, commanding and claiming space for a refreshingly new aesthetic and sensibility, queer or otherwise, in experimental film that continues to inspire generations of artists across myriad layers of identification. Her inclusion of queer women in works both traditionally documentative and those more performative allowed for not just increased visibility of lesbian culture in their day, but also an invaluable archive of the ever-evolving political and social objectives of communities often rendered invisible.
With the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Archive is proud to present five programs of films by Barbara Hammer, nearly all of which will be shown in restored or newly struck prints from the Academy Film Archive. A screening of Hammer's debut feature Nitrate Kisses (1992) will also take place at AFI FEST on November 11.
This program was curated by KJ Relth and Mark Toscano; program notes written by the same.
Special thanks: Florrie Burke; Karl McCool, Electronic Arts Intermix; May Haduong, Academy Film Archive.
November 9, 2018 - 7:30 pm
Beginning with her best-known short and ending with her most recent work, this program highlights Hammer’s playful, unfolding dialogue between corporeality and artistic method. Employing double exposure, optical printing, computer animation, and unexpected structural elements, these six works offer a primer on Hammer’s visual imagination and career-long fascination with the scintillating power of touch.
- Dyketactics (1974, 16mm, color, 4 min.)
- Double Strength (1978, 16mm, color, 15 min.)
- No No Nooky T.V. (1987, 16mm, color, 12 min.)
- Sync Touch (1981, 16mm, color, 10 min.)
- Vital Signs (1991, 16mm, b/w & color, 10 min.)
- Women I Love (1976, 16mm, color, 23 min.)
- Evidentiary Bodies (2018, Digital, color, 10 min.)
November 10, 2018 - 7:30 pm
Lustrous not only in their shimmering hues but in their ecstatic, deeply emotional, and highly personal narratives, these three works evoke an artist’s active attempts to define herself and self-compose a herstory leaving indelible marks on lesbian feminist cinema in the process.
- “X” (1973, 16mm, color, 8 min.)
- Stress Scars and Pleasure Wrinkles (1976, Video, color, 17 min.)
- Tender Fictions (1995, 16mm, b/w & color, 60 min.)
November 17, 2018 - 7:30 pm
Declarations of Identity
A mix of pseudo-documentary, role-play, and traditional documentation of Barbara Hammer’s international audiences combine to create an engaged intervention of queer and feminist testimony in the socially- and politically-charged climate of the 1970s and ‘80s.
- I Was/I Am (1973, 16mm, b/w, 7 min.)
- Sisters! (1973, 16mm, color, 8 min.)
- Menses (1974, 16mm, color, 4 min.)
- Superdyke (1975, 16mm, color, 18 min.)
- Multiple Orgasm (1977, 16mm, color, silent, 6 min.)
- Audience (1983, 16mm, b/w, 32 min.)
December 8, 2018 - 7:30 pm
Throughout her career, many of Barbara Hammer’s more visually ecstatic works reveal a psychedelic thread running through her filmography, from her 1968 debut Schizy, to one of her final works on 16mm, Generations (made with Joey Carducci). Using various technical and formal approaches including time lapse, optical printing, animation, and digital image manipulation, Hammer has regularly embraced the presence and physicality of film to deeply mine the rapture of subjective vision.
- Psychosynthesis (1975, 16mm, b/w & color, 6 min.
- Schizy (1968, Super 8, color, silent, 4 min.
- Bent Time (1984, 16mm, color, 22 min.
- Pools (1981, 16mm, color 6 min. With: Barbara Klutinis.
- Place Mattes (1987, 16mm, color, 8 min.
- Our Trip (1980, 16mm, color, 4 min.
- Generations (2010, 16mm, color, 31 min. With: Joey Carducci.
December 15, 2018 - 7:30 pm
Hall of Mirrors
Composed entirely of recently restored films from the Academy Film Archive, this program explores various modes of self-envisionment, a strong, recurring theme throughout Hammer’s art practice. Spanning vérité portraiture, mythological drama, optically printed collage, and even appropriated x-ray footage, these extraordinarily diverse films are linked in their wide-ranging approaches to self-examination and Hammer’s acute awareness of being a body within a world, and within a culture.
- Jane Brakhage (1974, 16mm, b/w, 10 min.)
- Truth is the Daughter of Time (Women's Rites) (1975, 16mm, color, 8 min.)
- Dream Age (1979, 16mm, color, 12 min.)
- Pictures 4 Barbara (1981, 16mm, color, 8 min.)
- Optic Nerve (1985, 16mm, color, 16 min.)
- Still Point (1989, 16mm, b/w & color, 9 min.)
- Sanctus (1990, 16mm, b/w & color, 19 min.)