Barbara Hammer

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Barbara Hammer
Barbara-Hammer 2012 by Jim Norrena.jpg
2012
Born (1939-05-15) May 15, 1939 (age 77)
Hollywood, California, US
Occupation Film director
Website Official website

Barbara Hammer (born May 15, 1939) is an American filmmaker in the genre of experimental films and a professor at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.[1] Hammer is known for creating experimental films dealing with women's issues such as gender roles, lesbian relationships and coping with aging and family.

Biography[edit]

Hammer was born in Hollywood, California, becoming familiar with the film industry from a young age, as her grandfather worked as a cook for the American film director D.W. Griffith.[2] She is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She also holds two master's degrees from San Francisco State University, in English literature and film. She took postgraduate classes in the field of digital media. In 2000 she received the Moving Image award from Creative Capital and in 2013 she was a Guggenheim Fellow.[3]

In her early thirties, Hammer was married and teaching at a community college in Santa Rosa, California. Around this time she came out as a lesbian, after talking with another student in a feminist group. After leaving her marriage, she "took off on a motorcycle with a Super-8 camera" [2] and shot some of the first lesbian-made films in history, including Dyketactics (1974) and Women I Love (1976).

She received the first Shirley Clarke Avant-Garde Filmmaker Award in October 2006, the Women In Film Award from the St. Louis International Film Festival in 2006, and in 2009 Hammer received the Teddy Award for the best short film for her film 'A Horse Is Not A Metaphor' at The International Berlin Film Festival.[1]

There have been two "re-makes" or "re-interpretations" of Hammer's film Dyketactics:

  1. Untitled ( Dyketatics Revisited) (Liz Rosenfeld, 2005)
  2. Fagtactics (Scott Berry, 2002)

In 2010, Hammer published her autobiography, HAMMER! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life,[4] which addresses her personal history and her philosophies on art.[5]

Early career[edit]

While studying at San Francisco University, Hammer created one of the first experimental lesbian films, Dyketactics (1974). The film illustrated the importance of the female body to her work, and is shot in two sequences. In the first sequence, the film depicts a group of nude women gathering in the countryside to dance, bathe, touch one another, and interact with the environment.  In the second sequence, Hammer herself is filmed sharing an intimate moment with another woman within a Bay Area house. Between the two sequences, Hammer aimed to create an erotic film that used different film language than the mainstream, heterosexual erotic films of the time.[6]

Dyketactics and other 1970s Hammer films utilized natural imagery, such as trees and fruit, to be associated with the female body.[6]

This style of film-making was met with mixed reactions. In a review of Hammer’s films Women I Love (1976) and Double Strength (1978), critic Andrea Weiss noted, “It's become fashionable for women's bodies to be represented by pieces of fruit,” and criticized Hammer for “adopting the masculine romanticized view of women.” [7]

Partial filmography[edit]

  • Schizy (1968)
  • Barbara Ward Will Never Die (1969)
  • Traveling: Marie and Me (1970)
  • The Song of the Clinking Cup (1972)
  • I Was/I Am (1973)
  • Sisters! (1974)
  • A Gay Day (1973)
  • Dyketactics (1974)
  • X (1974)
  • Women's Rites, or Truth is the Daughter of Time (1974)
  • Menses (1974)
  • Jane Brakhage (1975)
  • Superdyke (1975)
  • Psychosynthesis (1975)
  • Superdyke Meets Madame X (1975)
  • Moon Goddess (1975) – with G. Churchman
  • Eggs (1972)
  • Multiple Orgasm (1976)
  • Women I Love (1976)
  • Stress Scars and Pleasure Wrinkles (1976)
  • The Great Goddess (1977)
  • Double Strength (1978)
  • Home (1978)
  • Haircut (1978)
  • Available Space (1978)
  • Sappho (1978)
  • Dream Age (1979)
  • Lesbian Humor: Collection of short films (1980–1987)
  • Pictures for Barbara (1980)
  • Machu Picchu (1980)
  • Natura Erotica (1980)
  • See What You Hear What You See (1980)
  • Our Trip (1981)
  • Arequipa (1981)
  • Pools (1981) – with B. Klutinis
  • Synch-Touch (1981)
  • The Lesbos Film (1981)
  • Pond and Waterfall (1982)
  • Audience (1983)
  • Stone Circles (1983)
  • New York Loft (1983)
  • Bamboo Xerox (1984)
  • Pearl Diver (1984)
  • Bent Time (1984)
  • Doll House (1984)
  • Parisian Blinds (1984)
  • Tourist (1984–85)
  • Optic Nerve (1985)
  • Hot Flash (1985)
  • Would You Like to Meet Your Neighbor? A New York Subway Tape (1985)
  • Bedtime Stories (1986)
  • The History of the World According to a Lesbian (1986)
  • Snow Job: The Media Hysteria of AIDS (1986)
  • No No Nooky T.V. (1987)
  • Place Mattes (1987)
  • Endangered (1988)
  • Two Bad Daughters (1988)[8]
  • Still Point (1989)
  • T.V. Tart (1989)[8]
  • Sanctus (1990)
  • Vital Signs (1991)
  • Dr. Watson's X-Rays (1991)
  • Nitrate Kisses (1992)
  • Out in South Africa (1994)
  • Tender Fictions (1996)
  • The Female Closet (1997)
  • Devotion: A Film About Ogawa Productions (2000)
  • History Lessons (2000)[8]
  • My Babushka: Searching Ukrainian Identities (2001)
  • Resisting Paradise (2003)
  • Love/Other (2005)
  • Fucking Different New York (2007) (segment "Villa Serbolloni")
  • A Horse is not a Metaphor (2009) (Teddy Award)
  • Maya Deren's Sink (2011)
  • Generations

Retrospectives[edit]

  • Museum of Modern Art, New York City (September 15 – October 13, 2010)
  • Tate Modern, London (February 3 – 26, 2012)
  • Jeu de Paume, Paris (June 12 – July 1, 2012)
  • Toronto International Film Festival Cinematheque Free Screen (Winter 2013)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Barbara Hammer Faculty page at European Graduate School (Accessed June 2, 2010) Archived April 21, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b DiFeliciantonio, Tina. "Barbara Hammer." Bomb 43 (Spring 1993).
  3. ^ John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowshttp://www.gf.org/fellows/17405-barbara-hammer.
  4. ^ Hammer, Barbara (2010). HAMMER! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life. New York: The Feminist Press at CUNY. ISBN 978-1-55861-612-7. 
  5. ^ Katterjohn, Anna; Barbara Hammer (February 15, 2010). "Filmic Herstory". Library Journal. 135 (3): 29. ISSN 0363-0277. 
  6. ^ a b Youmans, Greg (September 2012). "Performing Essentialism: Reassessing Barbara Hammer's Films of the 1970s.". Camera Obscura. doi:10.1215/02705346-1727473. 
  7. ^ Weiss, Andrea (1981). "Women I Love, Double Strength: Lesbian Cinema and Romantic Love". Jump Cut. 
  8. ^ a b c These artworks can be found in "The repository of the Experimental Television Center". Experimental Television Center- Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art. Cornell University Library. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  • Alexandra Juhasz, editor (2001). Women of Vision: Histories in Feminist Film and Video. University of Minnesota Press.

External links[edit]