By Barbara Hammer

HAMMER! is the 1st booklet via influential filmmaker Barbara Hammer, whose existence and paintings have encouraged a iteration of queer, feminist, and avant-garde artists and filmmakers. The wild days of non-monogamy within the Nineteen Seventies, the advance of a queer aesthetic within the Nineteen Eighties, the struggle for visibility throughout the tradition wars of the Nineties, and her look for which means as she contemplates mortality within the 2000s—HAMMER! comprises texts from those classes, new writings, and entirely contextualized movie stills to create a memoir as leading edge and disarming as her paintings has consistently been.

HAMMER! was once the winner for the 2010 Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction.

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HAMMER!: Making Movies Out of Sex and Life

HAMMER! is the 1st publication through influential filmmaker Barbara Hammer, whose lifestyles and paintings have encouraged a iteration of queer, feminist, and avant-garde artists and filmmakers. The wild days of non-monogamy within the Nineteen Seventies, the improvement of a queer aesthetic within the Eighties, the struggle for visibility throughout the tradition wars of the Nineteen Nineties, and her look for which means as she contemplates mortality within the 2000s—HAMMER!

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In addition to the sensual pleasures, my social network completely changed; I was swept up with the energies and dreams of a feminist revolution. We could make a new world where everyone was equal. We believed it, and we tried our best to live it. After returning from a motorcycle trip through Africa with my first woman lover, I enrolled in film school and gathered a group of women to go to the country for a weekend of filming. Cris Saxton and I shot an hour’s length of film as I directed women to walk through fallen leaves, comb one another’s hair, trace circles with their fingers on each others’ bodies, and embrace.

We would kiss and touch and then she would look at me again. That went on all night without our total involvement. Her moonlit face appeared and reappeared during my school day, in the middle of a speech I was making in a seminar, or while I was walking across campus. The face was ashen grey and serious. The eyes were questioning. The dark hair framed an oval face of immense complexity and insecurity. The faint mustache on her upper lip echoed a trace of the intent dark brows. What any of her looks meant I didn’t know, and was too frightened to ask.

Everything was part of this new self-definition. There were parties, meetings, coffeehouses, bars, picnics, and, of course, potlucks. The circles were always expanding, and a friend today might become a lover tomorrow and an ex the following week. It was empowering, community forming, and, most of all, it was really good fun. Certainly, my life changed when I came out in 1970. When I made love with a woman for the first time my entire worldview shifted. I was touching a body much like my own which heightened all my senses.

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