Queer|Art Initiates The Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant

Queer|Art Initiates The Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking GrantQueer|Art, the New York City-based non-profit, is pleased to introduce Queer|Art|Awards, a new program of grants, prizes, and awards that will provide various kinds of direct support-monetary and otherwise-to LGBTQ artists. Over time, Queer|Art|Awards seeks to include a spectrum of support that will benefit artists working in a variety of fields and mediums, as well as broader categories of support that will survey LGBTQ culture as a whole.

Queer|Art initiates the Queer|Art|Awards program with The Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant, an annual grant that will be awarded to self-identified lesbians for making visionary moving-image art. The grant, which is named in honor of legendary lesbian experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer, is supported directly by funds provided by Hammer's estate and administered through Queer|Art by lesbians for lesbians, with a rotating panel of judges. The grant is $5,000.

"It has been the goal of my life to put a lesbian lifestyle on the screen," Hammer says, "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 grant is application-based and will be awarded to benefit specific projects. Funds can be requested to support work at any stage in development or production, from concept to exhibition. Qualifying work may be experimental animation, experimental documentary, experimental narrative, cross-genre, or solely experimental. Prospective applicants should review application requirements and apply directly through the Queer|Art website.

Applications for the first year of the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Fillmmaking Grant will be open August 1st - September 30th, 2017. The first-year awardee will be announced on Monday, December 4th , 2017 at the IFC during a special edition of Queer|Art|Film, which will feature an evening of short experimental films and conversation to honor Hammer and the women filmmakers who inspired her. The screening is organized by Hammer with Vanessa Haroutunian, who is Program Coordinator at Queer|Art and the Grant Manager for the first year of the Hammer grant. The judges, who have been selected by Hammer to review applications for the first year of the grant, include filmmakers Cheryl Dunye and Dani Leventhal. Hammer herself will be a third judge.

In addition to establishing a grant in her name this summer and collaborating with Queer|Art for a special edition of Queer|Art|Film this winter, Hammer is also receiving a major career retrospective at New York's Leslie-Lohman Museum in the fall. "Barbara Hammer: Evidentiary Bodies" (October 7, 2017 - January 28, 2018) will bring 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.

About Barbara Hammer

Barbara Hammer is a visual artist primarily working in film and video. Her work reveals and celebrates marginalized peoples whose stories have not been told. Her cinema is multi-leveled and engages an audience viscerally and intellectually with the goal of activating them to make social change. She has been honored with six retrospectives: The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Tate Modern in London, Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Toronto International Film Festival, Kunsthalle Oslo in Norway and The Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City. Her book Hammer! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life was published in 2010 by The Feminist Press at The City University of New York.

She is most well-known for making the first explicit lesbian film in 1974, Dyketactics, and for her trilogy of documentary film essays on queer history: Nitrate Kisses (1992), Tender Fictions (1995), and History Lessons (2000). She is represented by galleries KOW in Berlin and Company in NYC. She lives and works in New York City and Kerhonkson, New York.

Lead photo of Barbara Hammer by Susan Wides; photo of Barbara Hammer sorting through her archive by Vanessa Haroutunian.

About the 2017 Judges

Cheryl Dunye emerged as part of the 1990's "queer new wave" of young film and video makers. Dunye has made over 15 films including HBO's Stranger Inside and her debut film, The Watermelon Woman, recently restored by Outfest's UCLA Legacy Project for the films' 20th anniversary. In 2016, Dunye received a Guggenheim Fellowship and became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Presently Dunye is at work on her next feature film Black is Blue. She is represented by Echo Lake Management and APA Agency.

Dani Leventhal was born in Columbus, Ohio and is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Ohio State. In 2003 she received an MFA in studio arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago and in 2009 an MFA in film/video from Bard College.

About Queer|Art

Queer|Art launched in 2009 to support a generation of LGBTQ artists that lost mentors to the AIDS Crisis of the 1980s. By fostering the confident expression of LGBTQ artists' perspectives, stories, and identities, Queer|Art gives voice to a population that has been historically suppressed, disenfranchised, and often overlooked by traditional institutional and economic support systems. The current programs of Queer|Art include the year-long Queer|Art|Mentorship program, and the long-running Queer|Art|Film series, held monthly at the IFC Center in lower Manhattan.

The Queer|Art|Mentorship program, launched in 2010, produces an evolving intergenerational dialogue within the LGBTQ arts community that has a direct impact on the landscape of contemporary art and culture as a whole. The program, which pairs emerging and established artists in a year-long exchange, has propelled the careers of a new generation of creators. Queer|Art|Film, now in its eighth year, provides a space for invited artists to honor those who came before them and whose work continues to inspire them, further charting a uniquely queer cultural lineage through cinema to other artistic disciplines.

A list of the intergenerational community of artists supported and brought together by Queer|Art includes: Silas Howard, Jennie Livingston, Matt Wolf, Hilton Als, Sarah Schulman, Pamela Sneed, Justin VivIan Bond, Jibz Cameron, Trajal Harrell, John Kelly, Caden Manson, Everett Quinton, Geo Wyeth, Angela Dufresne, Nicole Eisenman, Avram Finkelstein, Chitra Ganesh, Pati Hertling, Jonathan Katz, Reina Gossett, Sasha Wortzel, Jess Barbagallo, Morgan Bassichis, Monstah Black, Yve Laris Cohen, iele paloumpis, Rebecca Patek, Justin Sayre, Colin Self, Justine Williams, Michael De Angelis, Jacolby Satterwhite, Rick Herron, and Hugh Ryan, among many others.

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