Barbara Hammer

New York, NY

Barbara Hammer was born on May 15, 1939 in Hollywood, California. She is a visual artist working primarily in film and video and has made over 80 works in a career that spans 30 years. She is considered a pioneer of queer cinema. Her experimental films of the 1970’s often dealt with taboo subjects such as menstruation, female orgasm and lesbian sexuality. In the 80’s she used optical printing to explore perception and the fragility of 16mm film life itself. Optic Nerve (1985) and Endangered (1988) were selected for the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennials (’85,’89). Her documentaries tell the stories of marginalized peoples who have been hidden from history and are often essay films that are multi-leveled and engage audiences viscerally and intellectually with the goal of activating them to make social change. Nitrate Kisses (1992) was chosen for the 1993 Whitney Biennial. Her memoir, HAMMER! Making Movies Out Of Sex and Life was published by the Feminist Press at CUNY in spring 2010 and coincided with retrospectives at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Reina Sophia in Madrid, and most recently the Tate Modern in London.

No No Nooky T.V.

(Barbara Hammer, 1987)

Using a 16mm Bolex and Amiga computer, Hammer creates a witty and stunning film about how women view their sexuality versus the way male images of women and sex are...

Our Trip


A comic travelogue of a camping and hiking trip to the Andes, OUR TRIP mixes conventions of the slide show with hand-painting and animation to create playful juxtapositions between travelers...

Multiple Orgasm

(Barbara Hammer, 1976)

Did we ever see what our orgasms looked like? Picturing 4 vaginal and 4 facial contractions, this film was purposefully made silent so that the audience could hear themselves breath....


(Barbara Hammer, 1974)

The first lesbian lovemaking film made by a lesbian, DYKETACTICS reveals Hammer’s aesthetic connecting sight and touch. 110 images in 4 minutes make this sensate film a “lesbian commercial”. Touch...