The Risky Visions of Barbara Hammer 12 June - 01 July 2012 Jeu de Paume 1, place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris
Since the early 1970s, Barbara Hammer has claimed the double identity of feminist and lesbian activist. Pioneer of queer cinema, she has gained an international reputation in the field of American experimental cinema.
From her earliest films (X, Dyketactics, Superdyke), her boldness is evident in the enthusiastic and lyrical exploration of sexuality and women’s pleasure, previously terra incognita in the geography of cinema. For this, it invents new formal representations of flower and plant outbursts (Women I Love) to a symbolic vocabulary close to Surrealism, revealing its proximity with Maya Deren, and Claude Cahun (I Was / Am I, Psychosynthesis) and two recent works (Maya Deren’s Sink and Lover Other: Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore).
The creative energy of Barbara Hammer fires up all of the rich technical syntax of the avantgarde: superimposed layering of images, visual collage, coloring or alteration of the film, de-framing, use of solarized and negative film, and editing in post production to transform the movie into poetic form by manipulating the film before our eyes (Endangered). All these effects contribute to the technical deployment of a work rich in radiant colors and sounds more and more skillfully worked (Generations). Even in her many films shot in black and white, Barbara Hammer is a filmmaker of light and perceptual experiments. She is also highly attentive to the accompanying sound of her films: music and sound effects that give a color, a tone, sometimes lyrical and sometimes humorous, to films that accompany the memory they hold.