Barbara Hammer: Pushing Out of the Frame Sarah Keller

Keller, Sarah [Browse]
  • Wayne State University Press, Detroit. 2021
  • Detroit, Michigan : Wayne State University Press, [2021]
  • ©2021
238 pp. 23 x 16 cm.


Queer screens [More in this series]
Summary note
  • "Barbara Hammer tends to be best known for her work from the 1970s. In those years, she radically represents female subjects and subjectivity in a series of films that are both part of and ahead of their time. Films like Dyketactics (1974), Menses (1974), Superdyke (1975), and Multiple Orgasm (1976) explore lesbian sexuality, feminist identity, and social activism. Hammer recorded non-actors (including herself) in frank acts of lesbian sex; showed parts of the female experience (and anatomy) usually elided in filmic depictions of women; staged rituals portraying women in various attitudes of empowerment; and subsequently provided models for feminist action and power. Granting exposure to a decidedly feminist and lesbian sensibility starting with these early films, Hammer has frequently and rightly been seen as a pioneer of queer cinema. If her productivity had been limited to the 1970s, her importance to queer film and art histories would still be assured, though perhaps skewed a bit toward frameworks of identity for understanding her artistic commitments"-- Provided by publisher.
  • "Barbara Hammer: Pushing Out of the Frame by Sarah Keller explores the career of experimental filmmaker and visual artist Barbara Hammer. Hammer first garnered attention in the early 1970s for a series of films representing lesbian subjects and subjectivity. Over the five decades that followed, she made almost a hundred films and solidified her position as a pioneer of queer experimental cinema and art. In the first chapter, Keller covers Hammer's late 1960s-1970s work and explores the tensions between the representation of women's bodies and contemporary feminist theory. In the second chapter, Keller charts the filmmaker's physical move from the Bay Area to New York City, resulting in shifts in her artistic mode. The third chapter turns to Hammer's primarily documentary work of the 1990s and how it engages with the places she travels, the people she meets, and the histories she explores. In the fourth chapter, Keller then considers Hammer's legacy, both through the final films of her career--which combine the methods and ideas of the earlier decades--and her efforts to solidify and shape the ways in which the work would be remembered. In the final chapter, excerpts from the author's interviews with Hammer during the last three years of her life offer intimate perspectives and reflections on her work from the filmmaker herself. Hammer's full body of work as a case study allows readers to see why a much broader notion of feminist production and artistic process is necessary to understand art made by women in the past half century. Hammer's work--classically queer and politically feminist--presses at the edges of each of those notions, pushing beyond the frames that would not contain her dynamic artistic endeavors. Keller's survey of Hammer's work is a vital text for students and scholars of film, queer studies, and art history."--Publisher's website.
Bibliographic references
  • "Barbara Hammer filmography": pages 201-206.
  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 207-211) and index.
Language note
  • Introduction: Experimentation in the first films ; Ambition and legacy ; The chapters
  • 1970s: Barbara Hammer, queer pioneer. The early years ; I was/I am (1973) ; Lesbian bodies, queer experimental pioneer ; Radical form for radical content
  • 1980s: Vocation and expansion. Travel and place: Our trip (1980), Pools (1981), and Bent time (1984) ; Intimacy and Sync touch (1981)
  • The arrival of Optic nerve (1985) ; Technological experiments and No no nooky T.V. (1987) ; Still point (1989) ; Janus-facing the 1980s
  • 1990s: Rewriting herstory. Not bare bones/Between things ; Nitrate kisses (1992) ; Out in South Africa (1994) ; Rewriting history: Tender fictions (1995) and The female closet (1998)
  • 2000-2019: Legacy. History lessons (2000) and Resisting Paradise (2003) ; A horse is not a metaphor: or is it? ; Maya Deren's sink (2011) and Welcome to this house (2015): traces of film, people, and places ; Evidentiary bodies x 4 ; Conclusion? Further issues of legacy
  • A few last words: Hammer on Hammer.
9780814348581 (Paperbound)
LC 2020-945838
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