Westbeth filmaker, Barbara Hammer, a pioneer in queer filmmaking, had a month-long retrospective of her films at Tate Modern in London in February 2012
The Fearless Frame
Friday 3 February – Sunday 26 February 2012
Barbara Hammer, Sync Touch, 1981
Sync Touch 1981
© Barbara Hammer
Barbara Hammer (born 1939) is a pivotal figure in American experimental film. An acclaimed pioneer of queer cinema, her prolific output includes the earliest avant-garde films that openly address lesbian life and sexuality. Her work remains of fundamental importance for a new generation of artists exploring new voices and new modes of experimenting with the moving image.
This major survey of Hammer’s work will be launched with the premiere of her new short film, Maya Deren’s Sink 2011, 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 programme will be punctuated with films by friends, colleagues, and filmmakers whom Hammer considers crucial influences. In addition to Deren, artists include Chick Strand, Stan Brakhage, Shirley Clarke, Gunvor Nelson, Chris Welsby, Gina Carducci, Cecilia Dougherty, John Greyson, William E Jones, Liz Rosenfeld, Emily Mode, Scott Berry, Kirstin Rossi and more.
Hammer says: ‘As an experimental filmmaker and lesbian feminist, I have advocated that radical content deserves radical form.’ She has fearlessly pursued innovation from her earliest experiments with sexuality and feminist identity in the 1960s and 70s to her stunning perceptual and optical printing experiments during the 80s and the documentaries she continues to make that unearth secret histories and give voice to those traditionally without one. Her films have transformed the screen into an active and experimental field that powerfully brings together images and the bodies they represent.