Barbara Hammer looks back on her career

The experimental filmmaker and pioneer of queer cinema, on the occasion of her Paris retrospective in 2012

Artist and filmmaker Barbara Hammer (1939–2019) has died, age 79, after a long battle against ovarian cancer. In this video, she reflects on her life an work, from her Lesbian and feminist experimental films of the 1970s tackling the female body and its taboos (such as menstruation, the female orgasm and lesbian sexuality), to her Structuralist studies of cinema as a medium, to her archival essay-films, considering the role of archiving in telling the story of (marginalised) cultures. The video was produced by the Jeu de Paume in Paris, where her retrospective took place in 2012. 

‘And if you’re wondering why my films were not shown at the Museum of Modern Art in the 1980s, but they are shown now, I can say that it’s because culture has changed, society has changed. There’s a recognition that minorities are important to democracies… It’s time to look at our aged, filmmakers both male and female, queer, transgendered, to look for those with experience, but especially those who’ve experienced a different way of living’ 

18 March 2019