MoMA Celebrates Barbara Hammer

Exhibition Includes the World Premiere of Hammer’s Newest Film, Generations, as well as Her Groundbreaking Experimental Short Films and Documentaries

NEW YORK, – A retrospective of works by experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer (American, b. 1939) spanning from 1968 to today, including the world premiere of her new film Generations (2010), made in collaboration with Gina Carducci, will be shown at The Museum of Modern Art from September 15 through October 13, 2010. Hammer is renowned for creating the earliest and most extensive body of avant-garde films on lesbian life and sexuality, including Dyketactics (1974) and Women I Love (1976).

In the late 1960s, Barbara Hammer was drawn to experimental film as a student at San Francisco State University. During that time she came out as a lesbian, an act that helped to radicalize her approach to directing. Galvanized by the second wave of feminism in the 1970s, she soon became a pioneer of queer cinema. She has since directed more than 80 films, using avant-garde strategies to explore lesbian and gay sexuality, identity, and history, along with other heretofore unrepresented voices.

Her 1970s films dealt with the representation of taboo subjects through performance, in the 1980s she worked with an optical printer to explore perception, and in the 1990s she began making documentaries about hidden aspects of queer history. Hammer says, ―It is a political act to work and speak as a lesbian artist in the male dominant art world and to speak as an avant-garde artist to a lesbian and gay audience. My presence and voice address both issues of homophobia [and] the need for an emerging community to explore a new imagination.‖ Barbara Hammer is organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.

Hammer will speak after the world premiere of Generations and following other films throughout the retrospective, sometimes reading from her autobiography, Hammer! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life (The Feminist Press at The City University of New York, 2010). Hammer’s debut feature film, Nitrate Kisses, will be followed by a panel discussion with Film Studies Professor Maria Pramagiorre and filmmakers Peter Cramer and Jack Waters who also appear in the film (Monday, September 20 at 7:00). Modern Mondays: Hidden Hammer, An Evening with Barbara Hammer will concentrate on her performance, photography, and installation work, and discuss some of the lesser known and hidden aspects of her practice (Monday, October 4, 7:00).

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