Tag Archives: Carolee Barbara and Gunvor

aemi: Artist in Focus: Lynne Sachs (at the 66th Cork Film Festival)

66th Cork Film Festival
November 16-18, 2021
https://2021.corkfilmfest.org/films/aemi-artist-in-focus-lynne-sachs-615afd65aae68d005a5685ed

I will be heading to Cork International Film Festival in Ireland to present “Film About a Father Who” with 10 short films as part of their AEMI artist focus on my work. Honored to share four collaborative film poems: “Longings” made with filmmaker Moira Sweeney (who will be there with us!); “A Month of Single Frames” made with Barbara Hammer; “Girl is Presence” made with Anne Lesley Selcer; and, “Starfish Aorta Colossus” made with Paolo Javier.


Making work since the 1980s Lynne Sachs’ films have incorporated a cross-pollination of forms that extend to the essay film, documentary, collage, performance, and poetry. Deeply reflexive, Sachs’ films to date have outlined a rich interplay between the personal and the socio-political. aemi is delighted to present this overview of selected short works by Lynne Sachs at Cork International Film Festival, many of which are screening in Ireland for the first time. 

In addition to this shorts programme Lynne will also be in attendance at the festival for the Irish premiere of her celebrated feature Film About a Father Who.

CAROLEE, BARBARA & GUNVOR Lynne Sachs
From 2015 to 2017, Lynne visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three artists who embraced the moving image throughout their lives.

STILL LIFE WITH WOMEN AND FOUR OBJECTS Lynne Sachs
A portrait that falls somewhere between a painting and a poem, a look at a woman’s daily routines and thoughts via an exploration of her as a ‘character’.

DRAWN AND QUARTERED Lynne Sachs
Optically printed images of a man and a woman fragmented by a film frame that is divided into four distinct sections.

THE HOUSE OF SCIENCE: A MUSEUM OF FALSE FACTS Lynne Sachs
A girl’s difficult coming-of-age rituals are recast into a potent web for affirmation and growth.

GIRL IS PRESENCE Lynne Sachs and Anne Lesley Selcer
Against the uncertain and anxious pandemic atmosphere, inside domestic space, a ‘girl’ arranges and rearranges a collection of small and mysterious things.

LONGINGS Lynne Sachs and Moira Sweeney
A collaboration exploring the resonances and ruptures between image and language.

DRIFT AND BOUGH Lynne Sachs
Lynne Sachs spends a winter morning in Central Park shooting film in the snow. Holding her Super 8mm camera, she takes note of graphic explosions of dark and light and an occasional skyscraper.

STARFISH AORTA COLOSSUS Lynne Sachs
Poetry watches film. Film reads poetry. Paolo Javier’s text is a catalyst for digital sculpting of an 8mm Kodachrome canvas.

MAYA AT 24 Lynne Sachs
Lynne Sachs films her daughter Maya at 6, 16 and 24.

A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES Lynne Sachs with and for Barbara Hammer
In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had an artist residency in a shack without running water or electricity. She shot film and kept a journal. In 2018 Hammer, facing her own imminent death, gave her material to Lynne and invited her to make a film.

Lynne Sachs Focus at Camera Lucida (Ecuador)

October 14-17, 2021 Loja Teatro Bolivar
November 11-19, 2021 Cuenca Teatro Sucre
November 20 – December 10, 2021 Online Ecuador 
https://www.ecamaralucida.com/2021-lynne-sachs


Program in English

Mirada Epicentro (Ceter Focus)

Authors who have made their way looking inward, achieving a work where the constant regression to aesthetic searches, thematic investigations and particular narratives, have a point at which the gaze gravitates, infects and expands.

In this edition, we are happy to share in Mirada Epicentro the work of Lynne Sachs, Bruno Varela and Ecuador de Territory, a program made up of the authors Alberto Muenala, Eriberto Gualinga and Sani Montahuano.

A Month of Single Frames
2020 – U.S.A – 14’
In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had a one-month artist residency in the C Scape Duneshack which is run by the Provincetown Community Compact in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The shack had no running water or electricity. While there, she shot 16mm film with her Beaulieu camera, recorded sounds with her cassette recorder and kept a journal.

In 2018, Barbara began her own process of dying by revisiting her personal archive. She gave all of her Duneshack images, sounds and writing to filmmaker Lynne Sachs and invited her to make a film with the material.

Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor
2018 – U.S.A – 8’
From 2015 to 2017, Lynne visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three multi-faceted artists who have embraced the moving image throughout their lives. From Carolee’s 18th Century house in the woods of Upstate New York to Barbara’s West Village studio to Gunvor’s childhood village in Sweden, Lynne shoots film with each woman in the place where she finds grounding and spark.

E•pis•to•lar•y: letter to Jean Vigo
2021 – U.S.A / España – 5’
In a cinema letter to French director Jean Vigo, Lynne Sachs ponders the delicate resonances of his 1933 classic “Zero for Conduct” in which a group of school boys wages an anarchist rebellion against their authoritarian teachers. Thinking about the Jan. 6, 2021 assault on the United States Capitol by thousands of right-wing activists, Sachs wonders how innocent play or calculated protest can turn so quickly into chaos and violence.

Drawn and Quartered
1987 – U.S.A – 4’
Optically printed images of a man and a woman are fragmented by a film frame that is divided into four distinct sections. An experiment in form/content relationships that are peculiar to the medium, 1987

Film About a Father Who
2020 – U.S.A – 74’
Over a period of 35 years between 1984 and 2019, filmmaker Lynne Sachs shot 8 and 16mm film, videotape and digital images of her father, Ira Sachs Sr., a bon vivant and pioneering businessman from Park City, Utah. FILM ABOUT A FATHER WHO is her attempt to understand the web that connects a child to her parent and a sister to her siblings. With a nod to the Cubist renderings of a face, Sachs’ cinematic exploration of her father offers simultaneous, sometimes contradictory, views of one seemingly unknowable man who is publicly the uninhibited center of the frame yet privately ensconced in secrets. In the process, Sachs allows herself and her audience inside to see beyond the surface of the skin, the projected reality. As the startling facts mount, Sachs as a daughter discovers more about her father than she had ever hoped to reveal.

Following the Object to its Logical Beginning
1987 – U.S.A – 9’
Like an animal in one of Eadweard Muybridge’s scientific photo experiments, five undramatic moments in a man’s life are observed by a woman. A study in visual obsession and a twist on the notion of the “gaze”.

Maya at 24
2021 – U.S.A – 4’
Lynne Sachs films her daughter Maya in 16mm black and white film, at ages 6, 16 and 24. At each iteration, Maya runs around her mother, in a circle – clockwise – as if propelling herself in the same direction as time, forward. Conscious of the strange simultaneous temporal landscape that only film can convey, we watch Maya in motion at each distinct age.

Photograph on Wind
2001 – U.S.A – 4’
My daughter’s name is Maya.  I’ve been told that the word maya means illusion in Hindu philosophy.  As I watch her growing up, spinning like a top around me, I realize that her childhood is not something I can grasp but rather  – like the wind – something I feel tenderly brushing across my cheek.

Same Stream Twice
2012 – U.S.A – 4’
In 2001, I photographed her at six years old, spinning like a top around me. Even then, I realized that her childhood was not something I could grasp but rather – like the wind – something I could feel tenderly brushing across my cheek.

Still Life with Woman and Four Objects
1986 – U.S.A – 4’
A film portrait that falls somewhere between a painting and a prose poem, a look at a woman’s daily routines and thoughts via an exploration of her as a “character”. By interweaving threads of history and fiction, the film is also a tribute to a real woman – Emma Goldman, 1986 .

The house of science: a museum of false facts
1991 – U.S.A – 30’
Offering a new feminized film form, this piece explores both art and science’s representation of women, combining home movies, personal remembrances, staged scenes and found footage into an intricate visual and aural college. A girl’s sometimes difficult coming of age rituals are recast into a potent web for affirmation and growth.

Viva and Felix Growing Up 
2015 – U.S.A – 10’
Capturing fragments of the first three years of her twin niece’s and nephew’s lives with their two dads (her brother Ira Sachs and his husband Boris Torres) and their mom (Kirsten Johnson), Sachs affectionately surveys the construction of family.

Which way is east
Lynne Sachs / Dana Sachs
1994 – U.S.A – 33’
When two American sisters travel north from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, conversations with Vietnamese strangers and friends reveal to them the flip side of a shared history.  Lynne and Dana Sachs’ travel diary of their trip to Vietnam is a collection of tourism, city life, culture clash, and historic inquiry that’s put together with the warmth of a quilt.  “Which Way Is East” starts as a road trip and flowers into a political discourse.  It combines Vietnamese parables, history and memories of the people the sisters met, as well as their own childhood memories of the war on TV.  To Americans for whom “Vietnam” ended in 1975, “Which Way Is East” is a reminder that Vietnam is a country, not a war.  The film has a combination of qualities: compassion, acute observational skills, an understanding of history’s scope, and a critical ability to discern what’s missing from the textbooks and TV news. (from The Independent Film and Video Monthly, Susan Gerhard)


Program in Spanish

Mirada Epicentro

Autoras y autores que han labrado su camino mirando hacia dentro, logrando una obra donde la regresión constante a búsquedas estéticas, investigaciones temáticas y narrativas particulares, disponen un punto en el cual la mirada gravita, se contagia y se expande.

En esta edición, nos alegramos compartir en Mirada Epicentro la obra de Lynne Sachs, Bruno Varela y Ecuador de territorio, un programa conformado por los autores Alberto Muenala, Eriberto Gualinga y Sani Montahuano. 

A Month of Single Frames
2020 – U.S.A – 14’
En 1998, la cineasta Barbara Hammer tuvo una residencia artística de un mes en Cape Cod, Massachusetts. La choza no tenía agua corriente ni electricidad. Mientras estuvo allí, filmó una película de 16 mm, grabó sonidos y llevó un diario. En 2018, Barbara comenzó su propio proceso de muerte revisando su archivo personal. Ella le dio todas sus imágenes, sonidos y escritura de la residencia a la cineasta Lynne Sachs y la invitó a hacer una película.

Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor
2018 – U.S.A – 8’
De 2015 a 2017, Lynne visitó a Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer y Gunvor Nelson, tres artistas multifacéticos que han abrazado la imagen en movimiento a lo largo de sus vidas. Desde la casa del siglo XVIII de Carolee en los bosques del norte del estado de Nueva York hasta el estudio de Barbara en West Village y el pueblo de la infancia de Gunvor en Suecia, Lynne graba una película con cada mujer en el lugar donde encuentra la base y la chispa.

E•pis•to•lar•y: letter to Jean Vigo
2021 – U.S.A / España – 5’
En una epistolar fílmica dirigida al director francés Jean Vigo, Lynne Sachs reflexiona sobre su clásico de 1933 “Zero for Conduct”, en el que los escolares libran una rebelión anarquista contra sus maestros autoritarios. Al pensar en el asalto del 6 de enero de 2021 al Capitolio de los EE. UU. Por parte de activistas de derecha, Sachs se pregunta cómo un juego inocente o una protesta calculada pueden convertirse tan rápidamente en caos y violencia.

Drawn and Quartered
1987 – U.S.A – 4’
Imágenes impresas ópticamente de un hombre y una mujer fragmentadas por un fotograma de película que se divide en cuatro secciones distintas. Un experimento en las relaciones forma / contenido que son peculiares del medio, 1987.

Film About a Father Who
2020 – U.S.A – 74’
Desde 1984 al 2019, Lynne Sachs filmó a su padre, un animado e innovador hombre de negocios. Este documental es el intento de la cineasta por entender las redes que conectan a una niña con su padre y a una mujer con sus hermanos. Con un guiño a las representaciones cubistas de un rostro, la exploración de Sachas ofrece visiones simultáneas y a veces contradictorias de un hombre aparentemente incognocible que públicamente se ubica de forma desinhibida en el centro del encueadre, pero en lo privado se refugia en secretos.

Following the Object to its Logical Beginning
1987 – U.S.A – 9’
Como un animal en uno de los experimentos fotográficos científicos de Eadweard Muybridge, una mujer observa cinco momentos poco dramáticos en la vida de un hombre. Un estudio sobre la obsesión visual y un giro en la noción de “mirada”.

Maya at 24
2021 – U.S.A – 4’
Conscientes del extraño paisaje temporal simultáneo que solo el cine puede transmitir, vemos a Maya en movimiento en cada época distinta.

Photograph on Wind
2001 – U.S.A – 4’
El nombre de mi hija es Maya. Me han dicho que la palabra maya significa ilusión en la filosofía hindú. Mientras la veo crecer, girando como una peonza a mi alrededor, me doy cuenta de que su infancia no es algo que pueda comprender, sino más bien, como el viento, algo que siento acariciar con ternura mi mejilla.

Same Stream Twice
2012 – U.S.A – 4’
En 2001, la fotografié a los seis años, girando como una peonza a mi alrededor. Incluso entonces, me di cuenta de que su infancia no era algo que pudiera comprender, sino más bien, como el viento, algo que podía sentir con ternura rozando mi mejilla.

Still Life with Woman and Four Objects
1986 – U.S.A – 4’
Un retrato cinematográfico que se sitúa entre una pintura y un poema en prosa, una mirada a las rutinas y pensamientos diarios de una mujer a través de una exploración de ella como un “personaje”. Al entrelazar hilos de historia y ficción, la película también es un homenaje a una mujer real: Emma Goldman, 1986.

The house of science: a museum of false facts
1991 – U.S.A – 30’
Ofreciendo una nueva forma de película feminizada, esta pieza explora la representación de las mujeres tanto en el arte como en la ciencia, combinando películas caseras, recuerdos personales, escenas escénicas y metraje encontrado en una intrincada universidad visual y auditiva. Los rituales de mayoría de edad a veces difíciles de una niña se reconvierten en una potente red de afirmación y crecimiento.

Viva and Felix Growing Up 
2015 – U.S.A – 10’
Durante los primeros tres años de la vida de mi sobrino y mi sobrina gemela, usé mi cámara Bolex de 16 mm para filmarlos mientras crecían en la ciudad de Nueva York con sus dos papás (mi hermano Ira Sachs y su esposo Boris Torres) y su mamá (Kirsten Johnson). . La película termina con un abrazo por el Día del Orgullo Gay.

Which way is east
Lynne Sachs / Dana Sachs
1994 – U.S.A – 33’
Cuando dos hermanas estadounidenses viajan al norte desde la ciudad de Ho Chi Minh a Hanoi, las conversaciones con desconocidos y amigos vietnamitas les revelan la otra cara de una historia compartida.

Kino Rebelde to Represent Lynne Sachs’ Catalogue Internationally

http://www.kinorebelde.com/kino2020/lynne-sachs-retrospective/

Kino Rebelde has created a retrospective that traces a delicate line connecting intimacy, power relations, violence, memory, migration, desire, love, and war in Lynne’s films. By looking at each of these works, we can see a director facing her own fears and contradictions, as well as her sense of friendship and motherhood.  Moving from idea to emotion and back again, our retrospective takes us on a journey through Sachs’ life as a filmmaker, beginning in 1986 and moving all the way to the present.

With the intention of allowing her work to cross boundaries, to interpret and to inquire into her distinctive mode of engaging with the camera as an apparatus for expression, we are delighted to present 37 films that comprise the complete filmmography, so far, of Lynne Sachs as visual artist and filmmaker. Regardless of the passage of time, these works continue to be extremely contemporary, coherent and radical in their artistic conception.


About Kino Rebelde

Kino Rebelde is a Sales and Festival Distribution Agency created by María Vera in early 2017. Its exclusively dedicated to promotion of non-fiction cinema, hybrid narratives and experimental.

Based on the creative distribution of few titles by year, Kino Rebelde established itself as a “boutique agency”, working on a specialized strategy for each film, within its own characteristics, market potential, niches and formal and alternative windows.

This company supports short, medium and long feature films, from any country, with linear or non-linear narratives. They can be in development or WIP, preferably in the editing stage.

The focus: author point of view, pulse of stories, chaos, risk, more questions, less answers, aesthetic and politic transgression, empathy, identities, desires and memory.

Kino Rebelde was born in Madrid, but as its films, this is a nomadic project. In the last years María has been living in Lisbon, Belgrade and Hanoi and she’ll keep moving around.

About María Vera

Festival Distributor and Sales Agent born in Argentina. Founder of Kino Rebelde, a company focused on creative distribution of non-fiction, experimental and hybrid narratives.

Her films have been selected and awarded in festivals as Berlinale, IFFR Rotterdam, IDFA, Visions Du Réel, New York FF, Hot Docs, Jeonju IFF, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Sarajevo FF, Doclisboa and Viennale, among others.

María has a background as producer of socio-political and human rights contents as well as a film curator.Envelope

vera@kinorebelde.com


Lynne Sachs (1961) is an American filmmaker and poet living in Brooklyn, New York. Her moving image work ranges from documentaries, to essay films, to experimental shorts, to hybrid live performances.

Working from a feminist perspective, Lynne weaves together social criticism with personal subjectivity. Her films embrace a radical use of archives, performance and intricate sound work. Between 2013 and 2020, she collaborated with renowned musician and sound artist Stephen Vitiello on five films.

Strongly committed to a dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, she searches for a rigorous play between image and sound, pushing the visual and aural textures in each new project.

Between 1994 and 2009, Lynne directed five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel, Italy and Germany – sites affected by international war – where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her own perception. 

Over the course of her career, she has worked closely with film artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Ernie Gehr, Barbara Hammer, Chris Marker, Gunvor Nelson, and Trinh T. Min-ha.

“A Month of Single Frames” at Rosendale Theatre Screening & Exhibition of Schneemann and Hammer

Women in Experiment: Carolee Schneemann and Barbara Hammer
02/15/2021
Rosendale, NY
http://www.rosendaletheatre.org/2021/02/15/women-in-experiment-carolee-schneemann-and-barbara-hammer/#films

The Rosendale Theatre is excited to offer the program Women in Experiment: Carolee Schneemann and Barbara Hammer from March 12-14. March is Women’s History Month in the U.S., and International Women’s Day is observed across the planet on March 8.

Carolee Schneemann and Barbara Hammer are both major American filmmakers who have influenced visual and filmic arts in several wide spheres. Carolee Schneemann was known for her multi-media works (film, performance, installation, painting) on the body, narrative, sexuality and gender. Barbara Hammer, feminist filmmaker and pioneer of queer cinema, made over 90 moving image works as well as performances, installations, photographs, collages and drawings.

Both filmmakers were friends and mutual admirers, born in the same year and died within 10 days of one another. Their connections to our local area (including the Women’s Studio Workshop, the Woodstock Film Festival, and the Rosendale Theatre) are maybe more poignant for us locally, but their international reach as artists and mavericks speaks freedom and creativity out loud and in all languages.

WOMEN IN EXPERIMENT: CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN AND BARBARA HAMMER

SECTIONS:
The Program Schedule
Online Films Package
About the Filmmakers
About the Films
About the Panelists
Film Event at the Theater
Rosendale Theatre Lobby Exhibit

THE PROGRAM SCHEDULE:

March 12-14 with SELECT FILMS AVAILABLE until March 16.
CLICK HERE to find out information about the films, or to preorder tickets.

Saturday, March 13: TWO PANEL DISCUSSIONS through the Rosendale Theatre Live streaming.

Sunday March 14 |  2 – 6 PM | $10
In-Theatre Media Gallery & Short Films AT THE THEATRE
 
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKET


Rosendale Theatre’s walk-through media gallery. Timed entry tickets available: Pond and Waterfall (1982), Lesbian Whale (2015) (Barbara Hammer); Plumb Line (1968-71), Vulva’s School (1995) (Carolee Schneemann)
Safety Protocols for In-Theatre Event:

  • Capacity is limited
  • Timed entries into program
  • Temperatures taken at door
  • Masks must be worn
  • Social distancing enforced

ONLINE FILMS PACKAGE or Individual Films Available:

Full Package: (good from March 12-14)  $30 or $5 each movie.

CLICK HERE to preorder tickets or watch when available.

Stand Alone Movie: (good from March 12-16)


ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS:

Carolee Schneemann October 12, 1939 – March 6, 2019

Carolee Schneemann was born in Pennsylvania, and received a BA in poetry and philosophy from Bard College and MFA from the U of Illinois. She was based locally, living at the line between New Paltz and Rosendale, in an 18th century Huguenot farmhouse, about 3 miles from the Rosendale Theatre.

“Carolee Schneemann is one of the most important artists of the postwar period. Her work in a range of media—painting, film, video, dance and performance, constructions and installations, the written word, and assemblage—presents an unparalleled catalogue of radical aesthetic experimentation.” —notes on the publication Carolee Schneemann Unforgivable

investigations into gender and, in her own words, “forbidden aspects of the female experience” laid the groundwork for much feminist art of the 1980s and 90s.

“Prior to Schneemann, the female body in art was mute and functioned almost exclusively as a mirror of masculine desire.” — Jan Avgikos, Artforum

“Carolee Schneemann was a visionary. She challenged taboos and was undaunted by censorship, including cancelled screenings of her 1967 film Fuses, bans on imagery documenting her 1975 performance Interior Scroll, and attacks on her later political work… Her language is the visceral, yet intensely political, language of the body, of gesture, of sensuality and eroticism. Even today, she remains radical.” — Joy Garnett, National Coalition Against Censorship

“A feminist visionary and one of the most influential artists of the late 20th century.” _The New York Times

Her work has been exhibited around the world, she has received numerous international awards, and she published several books and taught at many institutions.

Barbara Hammer, May 15, 1939 – March 16, 2019

In the early 1970s Hammer studied film at San Francisco State University. After seeing Maya Deren’s film Meshes of the Afternoon, she was inspired to make experimental films about her personal life. After coming out as a lesbian she “took off on a motorcycle with a super-8 camera” and in 1974 filmed Dyketactics, widely considered to be one of the first lesbian films.

Hammer sought to deconstruct and disempower the narratives and structures that oppress women in general and lesbians in particular. From her earliest experimental work, her films are playfully and relentlessly challenging of accepted norms and taboos.

In Barbara’s words, “As a visual artist who primarily uses film and video in experimental, nonlinear time based work, my practice includes performance, installation and digital photography. I embrace critical and formal complexity while promoting an active and engaged audience. Thematically, my work deconstructs a cinema that often objectifies or limits women. My work makes these invisible bodies and histories visible. As a lesbian artist, I found little existing representation, so I put lesbian life on this blank screen, leaving a cultural record for future generations.”

Barbara received over 50 career awards and honors, and more in individual film awards and grants. Besides her extensive body film and video works, Barbara published several books and many articles.

“Hammer prefers the term ‘actionary’ to ‘visionary’ in describing the work of other queer artists she has documented and promoted over the decades. On the basis of this show, I’d say both terms apply to her.” – Holland Cotter, New York Times

“A testament to the singular combination of sincerity and irreverent humor that characterizes [Hammer’s] sex-positive feminism. . . . Hammer’s work reminds us that visibility is a political act.” – Artforum (review of Hammer’s book, Evidentiary Bodies)

“Barbara Hammer is a true cinematic pioneer; her tremendous body of work continues to inspire audiences and artists alike.” —Jenni Olson, LGBT film historian

Primarily based in New York City, Barbara spent time in the Hudson Valley/Catskills area. She exhibited at the Woodstock Film Festival, SUNY Ulster, and the Rosendale Theatre.

ABOUT THE FILMS:

Fuses(Carolee Schneemann; 1964-67, 29:37, color silent)
Schneemann’s self-shot erotic film remains a controversial classic. “The notorious masterpiece… a silent celebration in colour of heterosexual love making. The film unifies erotic energies within a domestic environment through cutting, superimposition and layering of abstract impressions scratched into the celluloid itself… Fuses succeeds perhaps more than any other film in objectifying the sexual streamings of the body’s mind” — The Guardian, London  
 
Kitch’s Last Meal (Carolee Schneemann; 1973-76, 54:11, color, sound)
This film documents the routines of daily life while time passes, a relationship winds down, and death closes in.

The Great Goddess (Barbara Hammer; 1977, 22:16 b&w sound)
 
Would You Like to Meet Your Neighbor: A NY Subway Tape (Hammer, 1985, 12:39, color sound) Would You Like to Meet Your Neighbor? A New York City Subway Tape finds Barbara Hammer (wearing a mask made of subway maps) conducting gonzo interviews with subway riders, getting their thoughts on the city, their fellow passengers, and navigating public space.
 
Snow Job: The Media Hysteria of AIDS (Barbara Hammer; 1986, 7:42, color sound)
“I first heard of AIDS in 1985 when I was teaching at Columbia College in Chicago. I noticed the strange and inflammatory articles in the newspapers and I asked my students to collect hysteric headlines for me. And so I began my work on Snow Job: The Media Hysteria of AIDS. I examined the public ignorance, stigmatization, and just plain wrong attitudes towards this new illness. By making a snow storm of newspaper clippings I could show what a ‘snow job’ the media was making.” — Barbara Hammer
 
Catscan (Schneemann; 1988, 12:46, color sound)
Catscan is a group performance within a chaotic density of projected images and office furniture, motivated by Egyptian funerary rituals of mourning, grief and spirits of the dead. It sustains aspects of Schneemann’s previous works built with dream instruction, positing the interchange of intimacy and physicality, the erotic and the obscene, the incubation of dream enactment. Catscan centers on the death of a beloved cat as a means to ritualize more universal mourning and to bring forward ghosts of the past. As a ritual consecration, Schneemann, blindfolded, dances out of 20 yards of red fabric wound around her body.The performance, which had a duration of approximately 90 minutes and variously featured 5 to 8 performers, included a slide projection system, 15 video monitors, ladders, furniture, suitcases, and debris.

Still Point(Barbara Hammer; 1989, 9:14, color sound)
Still Point whirls around a point of centeredness as four screens of home and homelessness, travel and weather, architecture and sports signify the constant movement and haste of late twentieth century life. “At the still point of the turning world, that’s where the dance is,” wrote T.S. Eliot in “Burnt Norton,” the first poem of Four Quartets. Hammer seeks a point of quiet from which all else transiently moves.
 
 
Americana I Ching Apple Pie (Schneemann; 2007, 16:37, color sound)
Writes Schneemann: “The ‘Americana I Ching Apple Pie’ recipe was first enacted in my Belsize, London kitchen in 1972. Unfortunately, the original footage disappeared with the man doing the documentation who may have been working for the CIA. The next presentation was May ’77, as a cooking event for the Heresies Magazine performance and jumble sale benefit. With the exception of a dozen apples, flour, maple syrup, and eggs which I brought, all the cooking ‘material,’ utensils, and props were discovered in the jumble. Objects which functionally approximated actual cooking utensils were used: nails, hammers, an arrow, a flower pot, ball bearings, rags, a watering can. The cook’s apron was a ripped mini skirt with which I covered my hair. As I state in the performance, ‘traditionally you need an apron, but it doesn’t matter where you put it.’

 
Infinity Kisses (Schneemann: 2008, 9:18, color sound)
Infinity Kisses – The Movie completes Schneemann’s exploration of human and feline sensual communication. It incorporates extracts of the original 124 self-shot 35mm color slide photo sequence, Infinity Kisses, in which the expressive self-determination of the ardent cat was recorded over an eight-year period. Infinity Kisses – The Movie recomposes these images into a video, in which each dissolving frame is split between its full image and a hugely enlarged detail.

 
Maya Deren’s Sink(Hammer; 2011, 29:08, color sound)
Maya Deren’s Sink explores Deren’s concepts of space, time and form through visits and projections filmed in her Los Angeles and New York homes. The project began after Hammer discovered a sink formerly owned by Deren at Anthology Film Archives and embarked on an homage to the “Mother of American Experimental Cinema.”

Hammer re-imagines Deren’s film locations of the 1940s in the present, providing entry into intimate spaces and former times, reclaiming the places that inspired the influential filmmaker. Hammer interweaves the performance of an actor, as well as the voices of the current home owners, Judith Malina, Carolee Schneemann, Ross Lipmann and others. The meditation on space and architecture investigates the relationship between private and public spheres, creating a unique architectural portrait of Deren.

The experimental soundtrack is created from the music of Teiji Ito (Deren’s third husband), Tavia Ito, and Teiji’s daughter.

 
Welcome to This House (Barbara Hammer; 2015; 78:54, color sound)
Welcome to This House is a feature documentary film on the homes and loves of poet Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), about life in the shadows, and the anxiety of art making without full self-disclosure. Hammer filmed in Bishop’s ‘best loved homes’ in the US, Canada, and Brazil believing that buildings and landscapes bear cultural memories. Interviews with poets, friends, and scholars provide “missing documents” of numerous female lovers. Bishop’s intimate poetry is beautifully performed by Kathleen Chalfant and with the creative music composition by Joan La Barbara brings Bishop into our lives with new facts and unexpected details.

“As an artist I believe that the architectural structures in which I live and work influence the art I make. I went in search of Bishop’s homes to explore the buildings and the poetry and paintings she made in them. This quest took me to her childhood home in Nova Scotia, to Camp Chequesset on Cape Cod, to Vassar College where she went to school, and to her homes in Key West, Brazil, Cambridge and Boston.

“Bishop was in the closet to the outside world, but she seemed to have as many lovers as she had homes. I globe trotted on her trail and found more and more female lovers emerging from interviews with friends, colleagues, critics and poets. Bishop was a lusty woman and I respect that, but writing openly of these experiences wasn’t possible due to her need for privacy propelled by the homophobia of the times. In addition, and maybe partly responsible for her reticence, was the childhood trauma she experienced of her mother’s breakdown and confinement in an institution. The understanding of this significant loss following the death of her father when she was an infant, and her conflicted need both to stay still and to move brought me to a closer reading of published and unpublished poems where I found intimate disclosures in her poetry.” — Barbara Hammer

 
A Month of Single Frames (for Barbara Hammer) (Lynne Sachs; 2019, 14 min)
In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had a one-month artist residency in the C Scape Duneshack which is run by the Provincetown Community Compact in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The shack had no running water or electricity. While there, she shot 16mm film with her Beaulieu camera, recorded sounds with her cassette recorder and kept a journal.

In 2018, Barbara began her own process of dying by revisiting her personal archive. She gave all of her Duneshack images, sounds and writing to filmmaker Lynne Sachs and invited her to make a film with the material.

“While editing the film, the words on the screen came to me in a dream. I was really trying to figure out a way to talk to the experience of solitude that Barbara had had, how to be there with her somehow through the time that we would all share together watching her and the film.  My text is a confrontation with a somatic cinema that brings us all together in multiple spaces at once.” — Lynne Sachs  


ABOUT THE PANELISTS

Saturday, March 13, 4:00 pm: Panel on Carolee Schneemann

Moderator: Rachel Churner, Director of the Carolee Schneemann Foundation. She is also an art critic, editor, and faculty member at Eugene Lang College at The New School. She owned and operated Churner and Churner, a contemporary art gallery in New York, from 2011 to 2015. 

Peggy Ahwesh, Filmmaker. A true bricoleur, she has produced a broad range of works through the approaches of storytelling, improvisation, image appropriation and visual essay forms in an inquiry into cultural identity and the role of the female subject.  Recent shows include: Queer Paranormal, Usdan Gallery, Bennington, VT; Private Lives, Public Spaces; MoMA; and Unsettled States, Center for New Media, Baruch College.  Ahwesh is represented by Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn.

Dr. Juan Carlos Kase, Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. His research, which has been published in Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, Millennium Film Journal, The Moving Image, and OCTOBER, concerns the overlapping aesthetic, historical, and political registers of experimental cinema, documentary, art history, performance, and popular music within American subcultures.”

Erin Zona, Director Women’s Studio Workshop. Worked with Carolee before her death to republish Schneemann’s 1972 book: Parts of a Body House Book.

Parts of a Body House Book was originally published in 1972 by Beau Geste Press, which was run by Felipe Ehrenberg in Devon, England. This reprinting is a facsimile of Carolee’s personal copy from the first edition. Her intentions were to paint the back cover of each book and create a new set of hand interventions for the present day. This publication was in production at the time of her death in 2019. All hand interventions including corrections, stamping, staining, drawing, and highlighting were recreated to the artist’s exact wishes. Each copy in this edition is signed by Carolee’s beloved feline, La Niña, using a pigment mixed from beet juice and dirt gathered from the grounds of Carolee’s eighteenth century farmhouse in New Paltz, NY. 

This book includes the first publishing of an excerpt from Schneemann’s Sexual Parameters ChartAmericana I Ching Apple Pie, film positives from two of Carolee’s films, notes and sketches on Kinetic Painting, a very special menstrual-blood-blotted paper work, and more. 

In the exhibition catalog for her retrospective Kinetic Painting, Schneemann writes, “Parts of a Body House Book (1972) is a prototype for my big book. Each element in this edition was culled from mounds of related material. It is a releasing of the recent past into the present. A unitary life view – all about the same thing… and I can’t say what IT IS. But see it, live it.”


Saturday, March 13 at 7:00 pm: Panel on Barbara Hammer

Moderator: Sally Berger, film and media curator, writer, and art consultant in experimental, non-fiction and independent film, video installation and digital media. She is a Visiting Instructor, Visual Studies, Haverford College. Previously, she worked at The Museum of Modern Art (1986 -2016) as a curator in the Department of Film and co-founder and director of Documentary Fortnight, an international festival of non-fiction film and media (2001 – 2016). At the Museum she organized numerous contemporary film and media exhibitions, retrospectives and artist presentation series. She received an MA from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts in Cinema Studies and a BA in Media Studies from Fordham College at Lincoln Center.

Florrie Burke, Executor and Director of Barbara Hammer Art Legacy.
She is an international expert on human trafficking, worker exploitation and trauma. 

Sarah Keller, associate professor of art and cinema studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research focuses on experimental form, film experience, and feminist issues in cinema. Her book on the career of experimental filmmaker and artist Barbara Hammer, Barbara Hammer: Pushing Out of the Frame, is forthcoming in Fall 2021 for Wayne State University Press’s Queer Screens series.  

Lynne Sachs, Filmmaker. “For more than thirty years, Lynne Sachs has constructed short, bold mid-length, and feature films incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, and observational documentary. Her highly self-reflexive films have variously explored the relations between the body, camera, and the materiality of film itself; histories of personal, social, and political trauma; marginalized communities and their labor; and her own family life, slipping seamlessly between modes, from documentary essays to diaristic shorts.” (Edo Choi, Asst. Curator, Museum of the Moving Image)

As of 2020, she has made 37 films. The Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Festival International Nuevo Cine in Havana, China Women’s Film Festival and Sheffield Doc/Fest have all presented retrospectives of her work. She received a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts. Tender Buttons Press published her first book Year by Year Poems in 2019.  On the occasion of the January, 2021 virtual theater release of her latest feature, Film About a Father Who, the Museum of the Moving Image is currently presenting a career-ranging survey of Lynne’s work. 


FILM EVENT AT THE THEATER

In-Theatre Media Gallery & Short Films AT THE THEATRE
Sunday March 14, 3-6 pm
CLICK HERE to Buy in advance event ticket $10

Movies on the Screen: 

  • Plumb Line (Schneemann; 1968-71, 14:27, color sound)
  • Pond and Waterfall (Hammer; 1982, 15:00, color silent)
  • Vulva’s School (Schneemann; 1995, 7:15, color sound)
  • Lesbian Whale (Hammer; 2015, 6:35, color sound)

Safety Protocols for In-Theater Event:

  • Capacity is limited
  • Timed entries into program
  • Temperatures taken at door
  • Masks must be worn
  • Social distancing enforced

The dissolution of a relationship unravels through visual and aural equivalences. Schneemann splits and recomposes actions of the lovers in a streaming montage of disruptive permutations: 8 mm is printed as 16 mm, moving images freeze, frames recur and dissolve until the film bursts into flames, consuming its own substance.

Plumb Line(Schneemann; 1968-71, 14:27, color sound)
The dissolution of a relationship unravels through visual and aural equivalences. Schneemann splits and recomposes actions of the lovers in a streaming montage of disruptive permutations: 8 mm is printed as 16 mm, moving images freeze, frames recur and dissolve until the film bursts into flames, consuming its own substance.

 Pond and Waterfall

Pond and Waterfall (Hammer; 1982, 15:00, color silent)”Hiking in Point Reyes National Seashore I came upon a vernal pool with an intriguing and mysterious underwater world. I optically printed swimming underwater to slow the movement to a meditative rhythm. I hoped that the appreciation of the clarity and beauty of water would lead us to better protect it.” — Barbara Hammer

“The camera eye is like an amphibian that sees on two levels in its journey from underwater in a safe pond down to a violent, turbulent ocean. Early in the silent film shot north of San Francisco we see an homage to Monet’s Nymphiades in the faded raspberry color of the step-printed underwater lilies. The painterly effects of the printing make the water seem viscous. Pushing through clouds of fish eggs, fronds and algae, the camera establishes a sense of intimacy and connection in a natural ecosystem. But this amiable underwaterscape acquires ominous overtones as the camera/amphibian surfaces. Splashes strike the lens, and the rock of the ocean surf is destabilizing and disorienting. One of the most provocative foreshadowing ambiguities occurs when the half-submerged camera tracks the tip and slosh of the horizon, echoing the mood change from underwater confidence to vulnerability to natural forces, a passage from balance to defiance.” — Kathleen Hulser, “Frames of Passage: Nine Recent Films of Barbara Hammer,” Centre Georges Pompidou

 Vulva’s School

Vulva’s School (Schneemann; 1995, 7:15, color sound) 

A performance in which Schneemann personifies an irrepressible vulva, which engages two animal hand puppets in a clamorous deconstruction of sexual bias in French semiotics, Marxism, patriarchal religions and physical taboos.

 Lesbian Whale

Lesbian Whale(Hammer; 2015, 6:35, color sound) 

ROSENDALE THEATRE LOBBY EXHIBIT:

Poster(s), pictures, ephemera courtesy of the Carolee Schneemann Foundation and the Barbara Hammer Art Legacy, and the book: Parts of a Body House Book, courtesy of the Women’s Studio Workshop:

 Front (left) and back (right) covers of Carolee Schneemann, Parts of a Body House Book

Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor (Lynne Sachs; 2018, excerpt); 

Parts of a Body House Book was originally published in 1972 by Beau Geste Press, which was run by Felipe Ehrenberg in Devon, England. This reprinting is a facsimile of Carolee’s personal copy from the first edition. Her intentions were to paint the back cover of each book and create a new set of hand interventions for the

Kinetic Painting present day. This publication was in production at the time of her death in 2019. All hand interventions including corrections, stamping, staining, drawing, and highlighting were recreated to the artist’s exact wishes. Each copy in this edition is signed by Carolee’s beloved feline, La Niña, using a pigment mixed from beet juice and dirt gathered from the grounds of Carolee’s eighteenth century farmhouse in New Paltz, NY. 

This book includes the first publishing of an excerpt from Schneemann’s Sexual Parameters ChartAmericana I Ching Apple Pie, film positives from two of Carolee’s films, notes and sketches on Kinetic Painting, a very special menstrual-blood-blotted paper work, and more. 

In the exhibition catalog for her retrospective Kinetic Painting, Schneemann writes, “Parts of a Body House Book (1972) is a prototype for my big book. Each element in this edition was culled from mounds of related material. It is a releasing of the recent past into the present. A unitary life view – all about the same thing… and I can’t say what IT IS. But see it, live it.”
 

Okto Community TV: A Tribute to Barbara Hammer by Lynne Sachs

OKTOSKOPE
A Tribute to Barbara Hammer by Lynne Sachs
Episode from Sun, 31.01.2021
https://www.okto.tv/de/oktothek/episode/60105ce43bdc4

The American filmmaker Barbara Hammer, who died in 2019, was considered the grande dame of queer-feminist cinema. Her experimental documentary films, which deal with topics such as identity, sexuality and physicality, have shaped several generations of women filmmakers. Lukas Maurer visited her friend and collaborator, the director Lynne Sachs, in Brooklyn and had a conversation with her about the avant-garde icon as well as her “Tribute to Barbara Hammer”. For this obituary, Sachs used DYKETACTICS, OPTIC NERVE and VITAL SIGNS selected three exemplary films and combined them with the very personal obituary A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES.

Two Films by Lynne Sachs on Dogmilk Films (Australia)

Dogmilk Films
August 2020 – September 8, 2020
Eclectic Visions
https://www.dogmilkfilms.com/vodmilk
Watch Until September 8, 2020|read in English Bahasa Indonesian|vist the archive

Drawn and Quartered (1948) & Carolee, Barbara and Gunvor are available for streaming: https://www.dogmilkfilms.com/vodmilk

Eclectic Visions presents a collection of experimental films created solely by female artists that span from across the globe. Each share vastly different approaches to their work; with concepts ranging from the elusiveness of dreams, to documenting the everyday, they all however equally present a unifying force that is the expansiveness of filmmaking. These women of multi-faceted practices, ages and backgrounds share a deep connection to the moving image, whether that image is captured through super 8, 16mm or digital.

In their own way filmmakers Audrey Lam, Lynne Sachs, Azucena Losana, Adelaide Norris, Barbara Meter and Eliza Roberts aspire to dismantle conventional forms of narrative by blending together techniques from both cinema and video art, and it is through their own explorations and experimentations that we become accustomed to the notion that the ways of seeing and viewing the filmic image can be reborn. 

Selected by Veronica Charmont and Lola Hewison

Indonesian translation and subtitles by Afifah Tasya

A Pocketful Of Song Audrey Lam, 2018, 17 mins
A bustling market street chimes with the gentle chaos of a lone, decades-old collectible coin and stamp shop in its midst. The elderly shop owner shares stories of the stamps and the world passing by.

Drawn and Quartered Lynne Sachs, 1987, 4 mins
In 1984, Lynne’s Uncle gave her a Regular 8 Filmo Camera. He explained to her the intricacies of the camera, warning her not to forget to ‘flip the reel and camera and shoot the rest’, otherwise, he says, “it will appear topsy-turvy”. Three years later, Lynne picked up the camera, she was a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. So, she says, “On one of those rare, warm San Francisco afternoons I convinced my new boyfriend John to follow me to the roof of the Art Institute to make the first movie I would ever shoot in Regular 8mm”. “That must have been the year I first encountered Laura Mulvey’s theory of the ‘male gaze’, seen in Carolee Schneeman’s “Fuses”, pondered Yvonne Rainer’s “Lives of Performers”. Sachs explains that she took the roll to the lab, she begged them not to split the film as usual. As she describes, “within the parameters of the image gestalt, we are dancing together without ever touching. Our two bodies remain totally distinct and apart.”

Carolee, Barbara and Gunvor Lynne Sachs, 2018, 9 mins
Lynne Sachs’ film Carolee, Barbara and Gunvor is an intimate and sincere composition of 3 artists; Carolee Schneeman, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson. Pioneers of the moving image in their respective art forms, Carolee, Barbara and Gunvor are given time and space to recount their artistic achievements, intentions and lives as female artists.

At Your Heels Azucena Losana, 2017, 2 mins
At Your Heels refers to a recurring dream where I arrive in a foreign city and look for a person everywhere and just can’t find them, just the traces left behind. The film was made during a residency in Prague, I was learning to develop black and white film. It was my first time filming on 16mm and as well as in colour. My Czech friends lent me a Krasnogorsk camera and I used some expired film that an Argentinian friend gave me. I always wanted to film the modern patterns on the metro stations, they are from outer space! I edited on the camera, triggering with the shortest possible shot (probably 6 or 8 frames). This is part of a series of short films looking at cities.

Appointment Adelaide Norris, 2019, 12 mins
Appointment went from being a reason to bring a bunch of girls/non binary people together and keeping them skating as an opportunity to give room to the minorities within the industry. We were so stoked meeting up n going to skateboarding video premiers that we decided we want do our own thing – it then went from our first video ABD to Appointment which started aiming more so at giving space for people that aren’t often given light in skateboarding, something for those types of people to see and be inspired to do themselves hopefully.

Headless Brim Eliza Roberts, 2019, 14mins
Cinema has long been used as a tool to reflect and expand upon time: past, present and future. Headless Brim seeks to encompass these different states, blurring the lines between reality and fiction, and grappling with notions of memory. Headless Brimsits somewhere between meditation and narrative, where as viewers, we are pulled in and out of interior and exterior worlds.

A Touch Barbara Meter, 2008, 13 mins
Wordless experimental collage of impressions and moods. Grainy fragments of landscapes, flakes whirl in the wind. Fog and mist, shadows of people in the city and by the water. Silhouettes that fade and turn into pure light and shadow until we discern the specks and scratches on the film strip itself. Sometimes, for a fraction of a second, a face, a person. A film as a memory that eludes us. Music by Alan Seip.

A Month of Single Frames (for Barbara Hammer)

“A Month of Single Frames” by Lynne Sachs
Made with and for Barbara Hammer
14 min. color sound 2019

This film is currently only available with a password. Please write to info@lynnesachs.com to request access.

In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had a one-month artist residency in the C Scape Duneshack which is run by the Provincetown Community Compact in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The shack had no running water or electricity. While there, she shot 16mm film with her Beaulieu camera, recorded sounds with her cassette recorder and kept a journal.

In 2018, Barbara began her own process of dying by revisiting her personal archive. She gave all of her Duneshack images, sounds and writing to filmmaker Lynne Sachs and invited her to make a film with the material.

“While editing the film, the words on the screen came to me in a dream. I was really trying to figure out a way to talk to the experience of solitude that Barbara had had, how to be there with her somehow through the time that we would all share together watching her and the film.  My text is a confrontation with a somatic cinema that brings us all together in multiple spaces at once.” — Lynne Sachs

Support provided by Wexner Center Film/ Video Studio and Artist Residency Award – Jennifer Lange, Curator.  Additional Editing by Paul Hill; with gratitude to Florrie Burke.

The result is an incredibly potent study of life in all its many forms and the difficulty of facing one’s own mortality …  Sachs deliberately contrasts Hammer’s shots of the gorgeous sun-dappled ridges with her close-ups of plants and insects, setting the grand majesty of the world against its delicate minutiae to form a rich tapestry of life among the banks. Crucially, the film never feels manufactured or over-structured. Sachs successfully maintains the feeling of an off-the-cuff journal that captures Hammer’s ideas as they come to her… At the beginning of the film, Hammer reads from her diary “I didn’t shoot it, I saw it,” and it is this feeling of spontaneous observation and meditation that Sachs manages to recapture so successfully here.

Robert Salsbury, One Room With A View

Winner of the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen at the 66th Annual Oberhausen Film Festival

“In the age of necessary social distancing, we would like to highlight a remarkable film which fulfills the noblest vocation of art, fostering an emotional connection between people from different times and geographical locations. For the ability to find poetry and complexity in simple things, for its profound love for life and people, and for attention to detail in working with delicate matters, we decided to award the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen to A Month of Single Frames by Lynne Sachs.”

Statement from Oberhausen Jury

SCREENINGS:
LUX & Club des Femmes present Evidentiary Bodies: Celebrating Barbara Hammer & Carolee Schneemann; 21st Belo Horizonte International Short Film Festival (Fest CurtasBH), Brazil; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; DocLisBoa, Portugal; Museo de Arte Moderno Buenos Aires, Argentina; MUTA, International Audio Visual Appropriation Festival, Lima, Perú; Art of the Real, Lincoln Center; DocLisboa, Portugal; Jury Stellar Prize, Black Maria Film Festival; Punto de Vista Film Festival, Spain; Courtisane Festival, Ghent, Belgium; Oberhausen International Film Festival; Edinburgh International Film Festival (cancelled); Iowa City International Documentary Festival; Maryland Film Festival; DocuFest, Kosovo; aGLIFF (All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival), Austin, Texas; Kaleidoskop One-Month Outdoor Projection, Vienna, Austria; Dokfest, Kosovo; Sydney Underground Film Festival, Australia; Woodstock Film Festival; Vancouver International Film Festival; White Frame Gallery, Basel, Switzerland; AntiMatter Film Festival, British Columbia, Canada; Cámara Lúcida, Cuenca, Ecuador; Drunken Film Festival, 2020;Curtocircuíto International Film Festival, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Indie Cork Film Festival, Ireland; Camera Lucida, Cuenca, Ecuador; London Short Film Festival; Kultur Programaziorako Koordinatzailea Coordinadora de Programación Cultural, Bilbao, Spain; PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montreal; Artists’ & Experimental Moving Image, Dublin, Ireland, 2021; Image Forum, Japan, 2021; Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto; Vienna Shorts International Film Festival, Austria, 2021; Edinburgh International Film Festival, 2021; Short Waves Festival, Posdan, Poland, 2021.

For inquiries about rentals or purchases please contact Canyon Cinema or the Film-makers’ Cooperative. And for international bookings, please contact Kino Rebelde.


Remember Barbara Hammer Program at Image Forum (Japan)


In Search of a ‘Feminist Sensibility’

by Adina Glickstein
Feb. 24, 2019
Published in Another Gaze

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When the Bay Area lesbian scene of the Seventies felt like it was closing in around her, Barbara Hammer hit the road. She took her motorcycle and a loaded camera to Guatemala, vowing to stay until all her film had been exposed. But when Hammer left Guatemala in 1975, her film all used up, her experience there had failed to conform to the narrative she’d had in mind. The artistic result of her cross-cultural soul search fell short. While there’s certainly a history of spurned lovers turning to foreign, ‘primitive’ locales to artistically render their heartbreak against ethnographically-tinged changes of scene, it isn’t exactly Barbara’s speed.

Neither was it Maya Deren’s. In the ’50s she travelled to Haiti, capturing 18,000 feet of documentary footage for what would eventually become Divine Horsemen. Editing stalled; the project failed to reach completion in her lifetime. Reflecting on the experience, Deren wrote: “It was only after I had conceded my defeat as an artist, my inability to master the material in the image of my own intention, that I became aware of the ambiguous consequences of that failure.” This, along with other excerpted musings on the trip, is paired with Hammer’s previously-unseen footage in Deborah Stratman’s Vever (For Barbara) (2019), which premiered at this year’s Berlinale. Interweaving their accounts of failed soul-searches – Deren’s in writing, and Barbara’s through voice-over taken from a phone call – Stratman constructs a lineage of feminist filmmakers spanning three generations. The implied relationship between them is that they share a certain sensibility, more taciturn than, say, Marker’s Sans Soleil.

Is this a feminine sensibility? A similar question is at play in Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor (2018), Lynne Sachs’ portrait of three trailblazing experimental filmmakers, which premiered at MoMa’s Documentary Fortnight last year. In a Derenesque wink, the opening image is a cat, as Schneemann’s voice drifts in from the space offscreen. She remembers her first camera – a Brownie – and how holding it made filmmaking feel like “an inevitability”. Sachs’s camera, as if searching for Schneemann, pans around an empty room—a nod to Deren’s Meshes, and tinged with Akerman, too. Before any of the film’s titular subjects even appear on camera, Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor pulsates with the energy of feminist experimental cinema’s kindred trailblazers. Common threads are explicated, teased out by the subjects’ accounts, yet left open-ended as brevity is forced by the film’s short runtime. 

In her section of the triptych, Schneemann recalls the challenge of convincing a male friend to lend her his Bolex: he resisted “as if I would bleed on this precious machinery”. She admits that she didn’t really know how to use it. Yet we know that the spirit of determination – so distinct in her oeuvre – won out, because now she’s on the other side of the camera. Next, we see Hammer. In contrast to the disembodied voice from Vever – made frail by poor cell connection and increasingly-advanced cancer – she is vivacious, running through the West Village, clowning for the camera. She recounts a foundational anecdote of her practice: on a detour from another motorcycle ride she was sidetracked by a crop of leaves in striking red. As if compelled by the goddess, she took out a bifocal lens from her optometrist and placed it in front of the camera, moving while she filmed. The finished project was a sublime manifestation of exactly how she’d felt when the leaves first caught her eye. , This embrace of openness and contingency was, for Barbara, fundamentally feminine – “I could make the inside of myself show on the outside” – and a release from the schizophrenic pull of rigidly-gendered rules for expression.

The last and longest section of Sachs’s film opens with a series of lingering close-ups of flowers. “After seeing a few of Bruce Bailey’s films, I understood that I, also as a single artist, could try.” In her childhood village in Sweden, Gunvor Nelson paces herself through what she has decided will be the final three projects of her career. There is a certain and deliberate slowness in her approach. She struggles to find tech support for her DSLR, but adapts to this challenge, finding eagerness and excitement in “calmly working” with stills. Sachs opts for a drawn-out rhythm in this vignette, as meandering shots of the surrounding nature recall the particular intimacy of Nelson’s work. This extends to her current process: even amidst technological change, she is invested in listening to her images, we sense, not bludgeoning them into some preordained vision.

These two shorts give us insight into seven women: Barbara Hammer, Maya Deren, Carolee Schneemann, and Gunvor Nelson as subjects and speakers; Lynne Sachs and Deborah Stratman from behind the camera. Watching both films, I wonder what connections there are to be drawn. Does the recent surge in filmic portraits of female trailblazers point towards a ‘feminine sensibility’, long overdue for historical recognition? I’m hesitant to speak about any ‘shared themes’ across the layered, nuanced careers that constitute this genealogy, lest these similarities be construed as an essentialised roadmap. How can we identify the beauty that comes from rejecting the strictures of masculine ways-of-being in the world without mummifying it, crystallizing these artists’ irreducible vibrancy into a prescriptive binary formula?

The key might lie in situating their work within experimental cinema’s challenging, unfeminist history. Reflecting on her mid-Sixties collaboration with Stan Brakhage, Schneemann laments: “Whenever I collaborated, went into a male friend’s film, I always thought I would be able to hold my presence, maintain an authenticity. It was soon gone, lost in their celluloid dominance.” Cat’s Cradle is hardly the only masterwork of structural film to suggest a sort of Abstract Expressionist-adjacent machismo. Against this backdrop, the nexus of similarities between Schneemann, Deren, Nelson, Sachs, and Stratman becomes explicable not as the record of some intrinsically-female way of seeing and filming the world, but as the product of work: a shared undertaking invested in upending experimental cinema’s more problematic attitudes and replacing them with a new hierarchy of aesthetic values: adaptability, intimacy, and tenderness. Only when we honour these values, in all their many manifestations across these seven artists’ careers, can we begin to construct the kind of feminist genealogy¹ that film history so urgently requires.

1 This term was proposed by Lucy Bolton in Film and Female Consciousness: Irigaray, Cinema and Thinking Women (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)

Vever (for Barbara) dir. Deborah Stratman, 2019
Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor dir. Lynne Sachs, 2018.

Link to article:  http://www.anothergaze.com/search-feminist-sensibility-two-shorts-deborah-stratman-lynne-sachs-carolee-schneemann-barbara-hammer-maya-deren-gunvor-nelson-berlinale/?fbclid=IwAR1ObsO6tm5GKph5OyNBoc_6cvp_1rDc446fyEBJOPDct482iNeHvUINHQg


Deborah Stratman’s Vever (For Barbara) premiered at the Berlinale last week. Lynne Sachs’s Carolee, Barbara and Gunvor is available to watch here.

Jury Prize and Workshop at Festival Curtas Belo Horizante, Brazil

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CRUSOS_SITE

“Carolee, Barbara and Gunvor ” wins Jury Prize at Festival Curtas Belo Horizante

Lynne attends festival and also teaches workshop on collaborative filmmaking.

August 2018

“Carolee, Barbara and Gunvor” won the Honorable Mention Jury Prize at the Festcurtas Belo Horizante, Brazil in August. Here is the translation of the jury’s thoughts on the film:

“Carolee, Barbara and Gunvor” creates a path that moves from the gesture of an initial encounter to an aesthetic manifestation — through the manipulation of images, textures and movements. In this way, the film presents a different kind of documentary, bringing to the forefront a human landscape that opens up through intimate contact between the director and three women pioneers in the history of experimental film.

Many thanks to Ana Siqueira for the warm welcome to the festival, to both Ana and Zita Nunes for their translation and to Carolee Schneeman, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson for being such amazing human beings and dear friends.

Film as a Collaborative Art: A Hybrid Media and Performance Workshop

What kind of creative surprises can happen when people who don’t know each other come together for a couple of days to make a film? In this workshop, we will work together for two mornings as a group to create a series of single-shot videos using complex mise en scène, unusual camera movements, and recycled or hand-made props from home. Each participant will have a chance to direct their own component of the piece. Throughout the encounters, workshop leader Lynne Sachs will present a series of experimental performance videos made by her and by artists such as Vito Acconci, Eadweard Muybridge, Chantal Akerman, Christopher Harris and Keith Haring. These short artist works will certainly stretch everyone’s idea of what a moving image art work can be. At the end of the last encounter, we will show the work and the participants are encouraged to invite others to watch. As a group, we will read excerpts from Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet (in Portuguese) as a way to embark in this shared, artistic experience.

Twenty editions. If the event makes us very proud, it also comes with the acknowledgment of a path made possible by several people, much beyond what fits in a restricted credits list, and the responsibility of being on par a with its history. To live up to the path of this festival, of public character since its conception, means, first of all, not letting the aesthetic, political and ethical restlessness that moves us, disconcert us, insistently put us into question, to be smoothed over. This restlessness has been, more than ever, stimulated by the transformations in the production, circulation and legitimation of films and the thinking made upon them. Year after year we have followed and celebrated the extraordinary growth of the production by historical subjects who have for too long been relegated almost exclusively to object of cinema’s gaze, as part of a broader political process that has deeply affected our ways of watching, judging, selecting and thinking cinema and the structures that support it, impacting not only the selection of films, but also the diverse activities and practices that make up a festival.

Jury Notes for prize in Portugese:

“Um caminho que vai do gesto do encontro à sua manifestação estética por meio do domínio sobre as imagens, suas texturas e movimentos. Surge assim um filme que se coloca como uma outra possibilidade documental, trazendo paisagens humanas que se abrem a partir do contato direto entre uma diretora e três mulheres pioneiras para a história do cinema experimental. Por conseguir capturar as especificidades estéticas da obra de cada uma dessas mulheres em três cápsulas de imagens, a Menção Honrosa do Fest Curtas BH vai para Carolee, Barbara e Gunvor, de Lynne Sachs.”