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Queer|Art Initiates New Awards Program

New grant supports self-identified lesbian filmmakers making visionary moving-image art.


Barbara Hammer


Queer|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 below.



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.


Follow Queer|Art on their social medias

Facebook: @queerartnyc
Twitter: @queerartnyc
​Instagram: @queerart
Website: www.queer-art.org


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