Next Exhibitions

Barbara Hammer: In This Body

Best known for her pioneering films that offer daring depictions of lesbian life and sexuality, Barbara Hammer (1939–2019) created a striking body of work—including photographs, collages, sculptures, and installations—in her more than 50-year career as an artist. Organized by the Wex, Barbara Hammer: In This Body captures the full scope of her rich, interdisciplinary practice with a specific focus on the artist’s works dealing with illness, aging, and mortality. The exhibition explores Hammer’s sustained interest in the female body (and her unflinchingly honest documentation of her own) while foregrounding the tactile nature of her art and her intrepid spirit of experimentation.

The centerpiece of the new exhibition is Evidentiary Bodies, an immersive, three-channel video installation that draws imagery from previous works to poignantly synthesize the artist’s life in film and her life with cancer. The project was supported by a multiyear Wexner Center Artist Residency Award. Cellist and architect N. Scott Johnson, who collaborated with Hammer on the work’s score, accompanies the piece live at the May 31 Summer Exhibitions Preview.

Filled with experiential and interactive media, including X-rays, clinical breast models, and large-scale photographic scrolls, the exhibition as a whole foregrounds the physical relationships inscribed in Hammer’s work—both her process of art-making and the participatory nature of viewing—and creates a space where the body can be considered both individually and collectively.

The culmination of a decades-long relationship between the artist and the Wex, which includes the completion of several films with the support of the center’s Film/Video Studio, Barbara Hammer: In This Body is presented alongside a series of complementary talks and screenings (see below). The programs will continue later in 2019 with the screening of collaborative projects featuring four noted filmmakers—Lynne Sachs, Deborah Stratman, Mark Street, and Dan Veltri—with a related symposium to follow in fall.

"It has been my life’s work to break taboos and make the invisible visible…I want to show illness in a new way that doesn’t hide it."
BARBARA HAMMER
Evidentiary Bodies

Barbara Hammer
Still from Evidentiary Bodies (detail), 2018
Three-channel HD video installation
Dimensions variable; running time: 9 mins. 30 secs.
Courtesy of The Barbara Hammer Estate, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York, and COMPANY, New York
© The Barbara Hammer Estate

Barbara Hammer

Barbara Hammer
Image courtesy of The Barbara Hammer Estate

Evidentiary Bodies

Barbara Hammer
Still from Evidentiary Bodies (detail), 2018
Three-channel HD video installation
Dimensions variable; running time: 9 mins. 30 secs.
Courtesy of The Barbara Hammer Estate, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York, and COMPANY, New York
© The Barbara Hammer Estate"

Evidentiary Bodies

Barbara Hammer
Still from Evidentiary Bodies (detail), 2018
Three-channel HD video installation
Dimensions variable; running time: 9 mins. 30 secs.
Courtesy of The Barbara Hammer Estate, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York, and COMPANY, New York
© The Barbara Hammer Estate

Evidentiary Bodies

Barbara Hammer
Still from Evidentiary Bodies, 2018
Three-channel HD video installation
Dimensions variable; running time: 9 mins. 30 secs.
Courtesy of The Barbara Hammer Estate, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York, and COMPANY, New York
© The Barbara Hammer Estate

Chest X-ray 5

Barbara Hammer
Chest X-ray 5, 2015
16 mm film on photo paper
9 x 13 in.
Courtesy of The Barbara Hammer Estate and COMPANY, New York
© The Barbara Hammer Estate

Chest X-ray 18

Barbara Hammer
Chest X-ray 18, 2015
16 mm film on photo paper
9 x 13 in.
Courtesy of The Barbara Hammer Estate and COMPANY, New York
© The Barbara Hammer Estate"

Chest X-ray 15

Barbara Hammer
Chest X-ray 15, 2015
16 mm film on photo paper
9 x 13 in.
Courtesy of The Barbara Hammer Estate and COMPANY, New York
© The Barbara Hammer Estate

Evidentiary Bodies

Barbara Hammer
Still from Evidentiary Bodies (detail), 2018
Three-channel HD video installation
Dimensions variable; running time: 9 mins. 30 secs.
Courtesy of The Barbara Hammer Estate, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York, and COMPANY, New York
© The Barbara Hammer Estate"

Evidentiary Bodies

Barbara Hammer
Still from Evidentiary Bodies (detail), 2018
Three-channel HD video installation
Dimensions variable; running time: 9 mins. 30 secs.
Courtesy of The Barbara Hammer Estate, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York, and COMPANY, New York
© The Barbara Hammer Estate

Evidentiary Bodies

Barbara Hammer
Still from Evidentiary Bodies (detail), 2018
Three-channel HD video installation
Dimensions variable; running time: 9 mins. 30 secs.
Courtesy of The Barbara Hammer Estate, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York, and COMPANY, New York
© The Barbara Hammer Estate

About the Artist(s)

Barbara Hammer has been recognized with film retrospectives at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Tate Modern in London, the Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Chinese Cultural University. She won a Teddy Award at the 2009 Berlinale for her 2008 documentary about cancer, A Horse Is Not a Metaphor, and another Teddy in 2011 for the short Maya Deren’s Sink. Her book, Hammer! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life, was published in 2010. In 2013, Hammer received a Guggenheim Fellowship for Welcome to This House. Her 1990 film Sanctus, which depicts medical radiation imagery, screened at the 2017 Venice Biennale, as well as at the Wex. In October 2018, Hammer delivered a captivating performance-lecture at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and she will be a featured artist in the 2019 Whitney Biennial.

Barbara Hammer: In This Body is organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts and curated by Film/Video Studio Program Curator Jennifer Lange.

SUPPORT FOR ARTS ACCESS AT THE WEXNER CENTER
Cardinal Health Foundation
Huntington Bank

GENERAL OPERATING SUPPORT FOR THE WEXNER CENTER
Greater Columbus Arts Council
Ohio Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Nationwide Foundation

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Next Exhibitions

Barbara Hammer: In This Body