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Sanctus, 1990

Transferred 16 mm film

Sanctus is a film of rephotographed moving x-rays, originally shot by Dr. James Sibley Watson and his colleagues. Making the invisible visible, the film reveals the skeletal structure of the human body as it protects the hidden fragility of interior organ systems.

Writes Hammer: "In making Sanctus I was concerned about the contradictory qualities of beauty and danger of the images that were made by radiation. I delighted in the imagery and at the same time I imagined the deleterious effects of the image making on the subjects. This was my dilemma in making the film and continues until today. I rely on the viewers' intuition of a foreboding, a sense of ambivalence, an unsteady non-homogenous emotive state, a not-knowing."

Barbara Hammer, Sanctus, 1990, Transferred 16mm film, 4:3, color, b&w, sound by Neil B. Rolnick, 18:18 min, Edition of 7+ 2AP
Barbara Hammer, Sanctus, 1990, Transferred 16mm film, 4:3, color, b&w, sound by Neil B. Rolnick, 18:18 min, Edition of 7+ 2AP
Barbara Hammer, Sanctus, 1990, Transferred 16mm film, 4:3, color, b&w, sound by Neil B. Rolnick, 18:18 min, Edition of 7+ 2AP
Barbara Hammer, Sanctus, 1990, Transferred 16mm film, 4:3, color, b&w, sound by Neil B. Rolnick, 18:18 min, Edition of 7+ 2AP
Barbara Hammer, Sanctus, 1990, Transferred 16mm film, 4:3, color, b&w, sound by Neil B. Rolnick, 18:18 min, Edition of 7+ 2AP
Barbara Hammer, Sanctus, 1990, Transferred 16mm film, 4:3, color, b&w, sound by Neil B. Rolnick, 18:18 min, Edition of 7+ 2AP
Barbara Hammer, Sanctus, 1990, Transferred 16mm film, 4:3, color, b&w, sound by Neil B. Rolnick, 18:18 min, Edition of 7+ 2AP
Barbara Hammer, Sanctus, 1990, Transferred 16mm film, 4:3, color, b&w, sound by Neil B. Rolnick, 18:18 min, Edition of 7+ 2AP
Barbara Hammer, Sanctus, 1990, Transferred 16mm film, 4:3, color, b&w, sound by Neil B. Rolnick, 18:18 min, Edition of 7+ 2AP
Barbara Hammer, Sanctus, 1990, Transferred 16mm film, 4:3, color, b&w, sound by Neil B. Rolnick, 18:18 min, Edition of 7+ 2AP
Barbara Hammer, Sanctus, 1990, Transferred 16mm film, 4:3, color, b&w, sound by Neil B. Rolnick, 18:18 min, Edition of 7+ 2AP
Barbara Hammer, Sanctus, 1990, Transferred 16mm film, 4:3, color, b&w, sound by Neil B. Rolnick, 18:18 min, Edition of 7+ 2AP

16mm film on video, 4:3, color, b&w, sound by Neil B. Rolnick, 18:18 min, Edition of 7+ 2AP

This film was preserved by Electronic Arts Intermix and the Academy Film Archive through the National Film Preservation Foundation's Avant-Garde Masters Grant program and The Film Foundation. Funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

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Estate of Barbara Hammer

Barbara Hammer was born in Hollywood in 1939. Her documentary and experimental films are considered among the earliest and most extensive representations of lesbian identity, love, and sexuality. Accompanying her career as a filmmaker, Hammer has time and again worked with performance and installation. She has participated in group exhibitions such as the Whitney Biennial in 1993, the WACK! show at MOCA L.A. and MoMA PS1 in 2007/2008. With film retrospectives at New York’s MoMA in 2010 and the Tate Modern, London, in 2012, the artworld's interest in Hammer's work has recently increased. Hammer has been a teacher for many years and held a professorship at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee (CH). She died in 2019.



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