ELIZABETH BISHOP, Welcome to This House, a film by Barbara Hammer

Louise Crane and Elizabeth Bishop (1937)
Louise Crane and Elizabeth Bishop (1937)

 Welcome to This House (projected completion date 2014–15) is a feature-length essay documentary film about a great Modernist poet, Elizabeth Bishop, and her homes, life in the shadows, and the anxiety of art making without full self‐ disclosure.

The Guggenheim Foundation awarded Hammer a 2013 Fellowship in support of Welcome to This House.



Tender Fictions, 1995

The Risky Visions of Barbara Hammer

American experimental filmmaker
June 12 to July 1, 2012

Since the early 1970s, Barbara Hammer has claimed the double identity of feminist and lesbian activist. Pioneer of queer cinema, she has gained an international reputation in the field of American experimental cinema.

From her earliest films (X, Dyketactics, Superdyke), her boldness is evident in the enthusiastic and lyrical exploration of sexuality and women’s pleasure, previously terra incognita in the geography of cinema. For this, it invents new formal representations of flower and plant outbursts (Women I Love) to a symbolic vocabulary close to Surrealism, revealing its proximity with Maya Deren, and Claude Cahun (I Was / Am I, Psychosynthesis) and two recent works (Maya Deren’s Sink and Lover Other: Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore).

The creative energy of Barbara Hammer fires up all of the rich technical syntax of the avant-garde: superimposed layering of images, visual collage, coloring or alteration of the film, de-framing, use of solarized and negative film, and editing in post production to transform the movie into poetic form by manipulating the film before our eyes (Endangered). All these effects contribute to the technical deployment of a work rich in radiant colors and sounds more and more skillfully worked (Generations). Even in her many films shot in black and white, Barbara Hammer is a filmmaker of light and perceptual experiments. She is also highly attentive to the accompanying sound of her films: music and sound effects that give a color, a tone, sometimes lyrical and sometimes humorous, to films that accompany the memory they hold.

From the first shooting in super 8mm, she films alone or with her friends, making public the most private chapters of her life. Parallel to the personal films are works of memory archives and hidden lesbian and gay histories, forming a trilogy: Nitrate Kisses (1992), Tender Fiction (1995) and History Lessons (2000).Her work evolves over time: in 2000, she filmed Devotion in Japan about a kind of “community” of filmmakers centered around a charismatic producer, and Resisting Paradise in 2003, which questions “how to be an artist in during war?” In 2007, she made a documentary about women divers from the Korean island of Jeju-Do, South Korea. In 2011, her latest film is a tribute to the filmmaker Maya Deren which she made after finishing in 2008, a painful movie A Horse Is Not A Metaphor where her fight against cancer is assisted by her of love of energy and life both intimately connected to the beauty of nature.Jeu de Paume website

This video clip was produced by the Jeu de Paume’s online magazine. ©Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2012

TATE MODERN—Barbara Hammer: The Fearless Frame

Barbara Hammer / Tate

Friday, February 3 – Sunday, February 26, 2012

This major survey of Hammer’s work will be launched with the premiere of her new short film, Maya Deren’s Sink2011, a tribute to Deren’s longstanding influence on the artist. The month-long series also includes screenings of early, rarely seen Super-8 films, an evening of expanded cinema performances in the Turbine Hall, an event in response to Hammer’s work by artist Emily Roysdon, and several events featuring artists and speakers drawn from across Europe and North America, who testify to the powerful creative community Hammer has inspired.

The Tate Modern Barbara Hammer Retrospective 2012 is Over.
For a complete listing of the programme go to: http://www.tate.org.uk/search/Barbara%20Hammer

Developing Personal Imagery Workshop

“This workshop is for all artists of any medium, including text and sound. A personally developed visualization process using relaxation techniques will release images in the body of the participant. Diagrams, drawings, words and colors will become a “life-size” script score that will be shared. Collaborations of art projects may result from the process. All are welcome! It’s fun!!

In the morning session Barbara will lead participants in a life-size visualization to discover their personal imagery. These images will each be drawn and shared with the group. Following a lunch break, folks will meet again to develop a short script based on commonalities found in the imagery. They will shoot a short HD film together editing in the camera.

Each person will have opportunities to direct and shoot and speak personally with Barbara about their own projects.”

Hammer Retrospective @ MoMA 9/15-10/13

2010-1979 (photo:Susan Wides)
2010-1979 (photo:Susan Wides)

MoMA Celebrates Barbara Hammer, with a month-long Retrospective of the Prolific Artist’s Extensive Body of Work.

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

September 15-October 13, 2010, The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, 11 West 53rd Street, New York City

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).  Barbara Hammer is organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.


HAMMER! Book Tour

03.03.10 : Los Angeles, CA : West Coast Launch at the Hammer Museum

03.06.10 : NYC : Launch Party at the Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum

03.11.10 : Ann Arbor, MI : Screening and Signing at Dept of Screen Arts & Culture, University of Michigan

03.16.10 : NYC : Discussion with Hilton Als at KGB Nonfiction Series

03.17.10 : NYC : Event with CLAGS at Performance Studies Studio, NYU

03.27.10 : London : Launch Party at British Film Institute

03.28.10 : London : Screening/Talk at Queer Surrealists Series at Tate Modern

: Toronto : Book Launch/Performance/Panel at the Experimental Film Congress & Images Festival

: San Diego, CA : Presentation at UCSD VAF Performance Space

04.17.10 : San Francisco, CA : Screening/Talk, SF Cinematheque Crossroads Festival at the Victoria Theatre

04.21.10 : Portland, OR : Reading at Reading Frenzy

04.23.10 : Portland, OR : Screening and Reading at NorthWest Film Center

04.24.10 : Seattle, WA : Screening and Reading at NorthWest Film Forum

04.26.10 : NYC : Presentation in the Queer/Art/Film Series at IFC Center

09.15.10–10.11.10 : NYC : Retrospective Screening at the MoMA

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