New York-based queer film pioneer Barbara Hammer will screen her latest documentary tonight at the Loft Cinema.
The UA Poetry Center invited Hammer to come screen here in the Old Pueblo. Her visit offers UA students and Tucson residents the opportunity to learn from the visual artist's work and interact with her in-person.
Hammer primarily works with video. She has made more than 80 films across over 40 years. Her film career started in 1968, and she has exhibited retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London. Hammer even received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013.
“Welcome to This House,” Hammer's latest film, has screenings scheduled in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Copenhagen, Denmark; Seattle; Ottawa, Canada; and Tucson.
The film documents poet Elizabeth Bishop and her affair with Brazilian architect Maria Carlota Costallat de Macedo Soares. Bishop was a Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award winner.
The UA Poetry Center presents the screening with support from the UA Institute for LGBT Studies, the UA Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, Lesbian Looks Film Series, Exploded View Cinema and Joe and Janet Hollander.
Hammer found many aspects of Elizabeth Bishop to be appealing. She told the Poetry Center she was inspired by her because of “[t]he amazing locations she chose to live in, always by the sea. The erratic lifestyle full of many lovers, the personal struggles she endured trying to write, the adventuresome nature given to exploration and risk-taking.”
Documentaries can never tell the whole truth about a topic, and Hammer knows this.
“[Documentaries] only talk around multiple truths,” Hammer told the Poetry Center. “Much lies hidden or buried within the memories of the people Bishop surrounded herself with over the years. She had a secret life, it seems, as so many of [the] people I interviewed kept a tight mouth to my questions.”
Hammer kicked off her visit to Tucson with a retrospective at Exploded View on Wednesday night. The downtown micro-cinema showed “Dyketactics,” “No No Nooky T.V.,” “Maya Deren’s Sink” and other films.
Hammer was glad to choose Tucson as a stop.
“[I] love to be in the desert, love to show work and meet audiences," she said.
Hammer plans to take advantage of her time here in Southern Arizona.
"We have family, friends and two days in [the] Bisbee area planned," she said.
Aiming to share her art with as many people as possible, Hammer shows no signs of slowing down. She plans to hold retrospectives in three cities in Poland, sponsored by The American Embassy in Warsaw.
“Welcome to This House” screens at The Loft Cinema tonight at 7 p.m. Free tickets are available at The Loft starting at 12:00 p.m.
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