Barbara Hammer

New York, NY

Barbara Hammer (1939-2019) was an internationally recognized film artist who made 80 films and videos making a significant contribution to lesbian and gay cinema. In her lifetime, Hammer completed seven features in seven years. Her trilogy of experimental documentaries on lesbian and gay histories are considered classic cinema: Nitrate Kisses, Tender Fictions, and History Lessons. Before she passed away in 2019, Hammer became an outspoken proponent for dying with dignity.


Resisting Paradise


Barbara Hammer was an internationally recognized film artist who has made 80 films and videos making a significant contribution to lesbian and gay cinema.

Artist Bio

Resisting Paradise examines the individual’s role in times of conflict, focusing on the friendship and creative artistic output of Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard, who lived a sequestered existence in the south of France during WWII amid an active French resistance. This 16mm experimental documentary juxtaposes a reinterpretation of French painting with a soundtrack made up of interviews with three surviving French resistance fighters. Barbara Hammer raises issues of artistic identity, the pleasure of looking and political responsibility through an exploration of disjunctive image and sound, viewing French painting through a gendered eye. Resisting Paradise continues Hammer’s use of film emulsion, her creative use of picture and sound, and her longtime commitment to making visible neglected aspects of history.


Award Year
2000
Status

Completed