MoMA Presents: Barbara Hammer’s Welcome to This House, a Film on Elizabeth Bishop
May 26–June 1, 2015
With her latest work, Barbara Hammer, who is known for films about lesbian life, history, and sexuality that draw upon avant-garde tradition, examines the little-known aspects of the life of the Pulitzer Prize–winning American poet Elizabeth Bishop (1911–1979). Hammer’s film, shown here in its New York premiere, explores Bishop’s inner life through some of the homes in which she lived and wrote—from childhood to her final days—and through the more private and sensorial poems that were published after her death. Featuring music composed and performed by the experimental singer and musician Joan La Barbara; Bishop’s intimate poems read by Kathleen Chalfont; three actors representing Bishop’s physical presence at different stages of her life; and interviews by historians, poets, and students, Welcome to This House sensitively portrays a complex, private, and challenging writer whose poetry continues to inspire.
Organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film.