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Born in 1939 in Hollywood, Calif., legendary filmmaker and artist Barbara Hammer has been making works since the late 1960s that explore lesbian subjectivity and sexuality, politics and representation, and visceral manifestations of pleasure and discomfort. Often using the camera as an extension of her body to see, touch, and explore, Hammer’s oeuvre is evidence of a textured approach to film and video-making that is simultaneously rooted in experimentations with the medium as well as experimentations with representations of oneself. Positioning herself in front of and behind the camera, Hammer uses the process of media making as way to create and cultivate alternative spaces in cinema not positioned in patriarchal, Hollywood conventions.

Barbara Hammer: Boundless explores five decades of Hammer’s work—highlighting themes of desire, feminist community, health and wellness, historical and archival research, and self-representation. These threads consistent throughout Hammer’s work point to a pioneering filmography of queer experimentation. Featuring newly restored prints from the Academy Film Archive and Electronic Arts Intermix, this program at IU Cinema and IU Libraries Moving Image Archive is a unique opportunity to pay homage to a female filmmaker whose legacy will continue to have a profound impact on queer filmmaking and art history.

This series is sponsored by Cinema and Media Studies, Department of Art History, IU Libraries Moving Image Archive, and IU Cinema.


Additional Boundless Films:

Barbara Hammer: The Beginning*

(1968–78) Directed by Barbara Hammer

January 16 – Wednesday – 7 pm

Free, but reservations required: http://iub.libcal.com/calendar/screening-room.

*Screening takes place in the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive Screening Room in the Herman B Wells Library.

The program will be preceded by a recorded introduction by Director Barbara Hammer.

Equipped with a Bolex and a whole lot of ambition, Hammer’s early cinema is a coming out and a coming into herself. Barbara states, “My strategy … throughout the ’70s was to put a ‘lesbian’ body on the screen, to bring a lesbian subjectivity to film, to question heteronormative experimental film.” Often credited as the first openly lesbian American filmmaker, Hammer’s early works established a new cinematic language that emphasizes visibility. Whether it is making visible the taboos around menstruation as in Menses, the pleasures of masturbation as in Multiple Orgasms, the intimacy of female relationships as in Superdyke Meets Madame X and Double Strength, or the process of filmmaking itself as in Schizy and Psychosynthesis, Hammer’s early works are confident and unapologetic. Contains mature content.

Short films in this program include:

  • Schizy (1968, 16mm, 4 min)^
  • Dyketactics (1974, 16mm, 4 min)^
  • Menses (1974, 16mm, 4 min)∞
  • Psychosynthesis (1975, 16mm, 6 min)∞
  • Multiple Orgasm (1976, 16mm, 6 min)∞
  • Superdyke Meets Madame X (1976, HD, 20 min) Directed with Max Almy
  • Double Strength (1978, 16mm, 16 min)∞

^New print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive

∞Restored by Electronic Arts Intermix and the Academy Film Archive through the National Film Preservation Foundation's Avant-Garde Masters Grant program and The Film Foundation. Funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation


This event is free, but ticketed, and open to the public.

The Screening Room temperature tends to run cool, so please remember to bring a jacket or sweater.

No food or drink is permitted in the Screening Room.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Wells Screening Room (ground floor, within Media Services)
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

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Jamie Thomas Baldys