Barbara Hammer

2018, 2017

Barbara Hammer

Barbara Hammer’s multiyear Artist Residency Award supported two distinct projects that unfolded over a period of three years. The first project, Evidentiary Bodies (2018) (completed with additional support from the Film/Video Studio), is the artist’s only immersive, multichannel video installation. Evolved from a 2016 performance of the same name at Microscope Gallery in New York, the work poetically weaves imagery from Hammer’s earlier works to represent her life in film and her life with cancer.

Evidentiary Bodies first screened as a single-channel video at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival and will be shown as an immersive installation—as Hammer intended—in Barbara Hammer: In This Body, June 1–August 11, 2019, at the Wex. The exhibition, centered around Evidentiary Bodies, captures the full scope of Hammer’s rich, interdisciplinary practice with a specific focus on gallery-based works dealing with illness, aging, and mortality. 

For her second project, Hammer revisited past films, which for financial reasons or other circumstances were never finished. Unable to work on the films herself due to declining health, she invited four filmmakers—Lynne Sachs, Deborah Stratman, Mark Street, and Dan Veltri—to work with her footage and, with the support of the Film/Video Studio, collaboratively create new films. The original footage spans the 1970s–90s and includes an interview with writer Jane Wodening (the first wife of experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage); documentation of an AIDS conference for the deaf; 16mm footage from a Guatemalan market; and footage from Dune Shacks, a nearly century-old gathering point for artists and writers (and now an artist residency program) in Provincetown, Massachusetts, that was beloved by Hammer.

The first film to be completed is Stratman’s Vever (for Barbara), made using Hammer’s Guatemala footage from the 1970s, which was finished in early 2019 and had its world premiere at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival. 

A symposium and screening of the four finished films is planned for early September 2019. 

Please check back for updates and more information.