Queer|Art to Announce First Winner of Barbara Hammer Lesbian Filmmaking Grant

Queer|Art, the New York City-based non-profit, will announce the first winner of The Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant during a special edition of Queer|Art|Film at the IFC Center (323 Sixth Avenue at West 3rd St.) on December 4 at 8pm. Queer|Art|Film is the long-running monthly screening series in which LGBTQ artists from across the creative spectrum are invited to present films that have inspired them. The Hammer Grant is an annual $5000 grant awarded to self-identified lesbians for making visionary moving-image art. The grant is supported directly by funds provided by Hammer and administered through Queer|Art by lesbians for lesbians, with a rotating panel of judges. The judges, who have been selected by Hammer to review applications for the first year of the grant, include filmmakers Cheryl Dunye, Su Friedrich, and Dani Leventhal.

This special edition of Queer|Art|Film, entitled "The Hammer Mix," presents an evening of short films that have inspired Hammer's prolific career. Some of the avant-garde's most influential women will be represented: Valie Export, Nancy Holt, Martha Rosler, Carolee Schneeman, among others. Hammer writes, "As a young female filmmaker I looked for predecessors. And they were there with gorgeous work that taught and inspired me. These short films are timeless and can GIVE both aspiring and accomplished filmmakers of today the same jolt of energy and investigative CURIOSITY they did for me in the 70s. Let's enjoy together once again!" This special edition of Queer|Art|Film has been curated by Hammer with Vanessa Haroutunian, Queer|Art Program Coordinator. Hammer and Martha Rosler will be in conversation with Haroutunian during the post-screening Q&A. Before the screening, judges Cheryl Dunye, Su Friedrich, and Dani Leventhal will announce and introduce the work of the winner of the Hammer Grant.

Regarding the importance of establishing a grant for lesbian experimental filmmakers, Hammer says: "It has been the goal of my life to put a lesbian lifestyle on the screen. Why? Because when I started I couldn't find any! ...I picked up a camera in the 60s, late 60s, made Super 8, 8mm, finally went to school and got a 16mm camera. Made 13 films in two and a half years. All experimental. Because I think that as a lesbian at that time I was living an experimental lifestyle. Well let's just say, I was experimenting. And I still am. And I think that lesbian film really calls out for experimental work. ...Working as a lesbian filmmaker in the 70s wasn't easy in the social structure - the educational institution that I was in. It was difficult. And I want this grant to make it easier for lesbians of today. So you can make work that you want to make."

The application-based grant will be awarded to benefit a specific project. Funds may support work at any stage in development or production, from concept to completion. Qualifying work may be experimental animation, experimental documentary, experimental narrative, cross-genre, or solely experimental. Applicants must be based in the U.S. Prospective applicants for future application periods should review requirements on the Queer|Art website.

"The Hammer Mix" has been organized in conjunction with Leslie-Lohman's retrospective exhibition "Barbara Hammer: Evidentiary Bodies" (October 7, 2017 - January 28, 2018). The exhibition brings together both known and previously unseen works of film and video, installations, works on paper, and material from Hammer's archive. This exhibition will address critical themes that appear in Hammer's work, including: lesbian representation, subjectivity and sexuality; intimacy and sensation; and conditions and maintenance of life and illness.

View a short video of Barbara Hammer discussing her new grant here.

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