Barbara Hammer: Ecstatic Subjectivity
Barbara Hammer: ECSTATIC SUBJECTIVITY One of three free programs offered this season in tribute to BARBARA HAMMER (1939-2019), the singularly pioneering, lesbian feminist experimental filmmaker who we lost earlier this year. The three programs – with over 20 works to screen, many of the prints new or recent restorations -- are but a sampling of this maker’s considerable and exuberant achievement, film and video work demonstrating an ongoing activist sensibility that encouraged an experimentation with the formal possibilities of her media and a representationally and politically expansive reach to her subject matter. The Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival will host the program BARBARA HAMMER: MEDIATED SENSUALITY (Thursday, October 24, 7pm) and aCinema will host IT’S AN INTERLACE: FIVE VIDEOS BY BARBARA HAMMER (Woodland Pattern Book Center, Sunday, November 3, 2pm) The programs are curated by KJ RELTH, programmer for the UCLA Film & Television Archive, and MARK TOSCANO, film preservationist at the Academy Film Archive, the archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. All prints courtesy of the Academy Film Archive. Digital materials presented in arrangement with Electronic Arts Intermix and Video Data Bank. All of these programs are free and open to the public ++++++ Regarding tonight’s program ECSTATIC SUBJECTIVITY, Curators Relth and Toscano write: “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 a recently completed piece by Deborah Stratman which re-envisions a film shot by Hammer in rural Guatemala in the mid-’70s. Using various technical and formal approaches including time lapse, optical printing, animation, and other material interventions, Hammer has regularly embraced the presence and physicality of film to deeply mine the rapture of subjective vision.” Work to screen: PSYCHOSYNTHESIS (1975); SCHIZY (1968); SEE WHAT YOU HEAR WHAT YOU SEE (1983); AVAILABLE SPACE (1979); POOLS (with Barbara Klutinis, 1981); OUR TRIP (1980); PLACE MATTES (1987/2018); VEVER (FOR BARBARA) (Deborah Stratman and Barbara Hammer, 2018); BENT TIME (1984) Total running time: 75 mins. Further program details below Again: FREE! +++++++++++ Relth and Toscano’s programs were initially presented as part of BARBARA HAMMER, SUPERDYKE, a series of 6 programs, all dedicated to Hammer, which screened in Los Angeles in November and December, 2018. Write Relth and Toscano, “By the very nature of her multifaceted identity, lesbian feminist filmmaker and artist Barbara Hammer (1939–2019) 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. “ +++++ Barbara Hammer: ECSTATIC SUBJECTIVITY Program Details: PSYCHOSYNTHESIS Barbara Hammer, 16mm, b/w & color, 6 mins., 1975. Restored by Electronic Arts Intermix and the Academy Film Archive through the National Film Preservation Foundation's Avant-Garde Masters Grant program and The Film Foundation. Funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation. SCHIZY Barbara Hammer, 16mm (originally Super8), color, silent, 4mins., 1968. New print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive. [pictured] SEE WHAT YOU HEAR WHAT YOU SEE Barbara Hammer, 16mm, b/w, 3mins., 1983. Restored by the Academy Film Archive. AVAILABLE SPACE Barbara Hammer, 16mm, color, 10mins., 1979. POOLS Barbara Hammer and Barbara Klutinis, 16mm, color, 6mins., 1981. Restored by the Academy Film Archive. OUR TRIP Barbara Hammer, 16mm, color, 4mins., 1980. Restored by the Academy Film Archive. PLACE MATTES, 16mm, color, 8min., 1987/2018. Restored by the Academy Film Archive. VEVER (FOR BARBARA) Deborah Stratman and Barbara Hammer, digital, color, 12min., 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Video Data Bank BENT TIME Barbara Hammer, 22mins., color, 1984. Restored by the Academy Film Archive. Total running time: 84 mins. All prints and the DCP of BENT TIME courtesy of the Academy Film Archive. VEVER (FOR BARBARA) screens under an arrangement with Video Data Bank Thanks to ZACHARY EPCAR, MFA Candidate in the UWM Department of Film, Video, Animaiton, and New Genres on his help with the realization of this program. +++++++ Milwaukee’s Barbara Hammer tribute is presented by Experimental Tuesdays at the Union Cinema, the Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival, and aCinema, with thanks to the UWM Union Cinema, the UWM Department of Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres, and Woodland Pattern Book Center. ++++++ Experimental Tuesdays at the Union CInema is a free series unspooling on most Tuesdays throughout the academic year that shares contemporary and canonical experimental media. Presented by the UWM Union Cinema and the UWM Department of Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres. Free and open to all!
Cinema / Gay, Lesbica