AUDIENCE

DESCRIPTION

Barbara Hammer’s Audience (1981) is a fascinating deep cut from the director’s prodigious filmography. Relatively raw in its design, this 16mm diary of audience reactions at retrospectives of Hammer’s work in San Francisco, London, Toronto, and Montreal in the early 1980s bears none of the distinctive visual flourishes and essayistic form one usually finds in her filmmaking.

Today, Audience serves as an invaluable historical archive, providing quick but complex portraits of lesbian scenes in different cities and countries: the San Francisco women are bold and raucous, treating Hammer like a celebrity; the London crowd more reserved and tentative; the Canadians politely critical after initial hesitation.

It also functions as a testament to the power of Hammer herself as a figure of lesbian culture, showing how fully she engages audiences to incite new forms of discourse about representation.

Light Industry

The website of visual artist and filmmaker Barbara Hammer. View clips, read synopses and information about the films, and purchase DVDs.