Lawrence Chua

IN A BIENNIAL FINALLY (though sometimes clumsily) attending to cross-cultural inclusiveness, poetry looms truer than history in the handful of films projected on the museum’s postage-stamp screen. If the documentary form claims to show what has happened at a specific moment and site, the best works in this program of films from the last two years entwine home-movie approaches with historical narratives to demonstrate that the most effective stories not only imagine what might have been, but also articulate experience in unspecified times and geographies.

In Nitrate Kisses, Biennial veteran Barbara Hammer conjures history from shadows, layering the voices of lesbians and gay men (as well as gay jazz reissues and out-of-print “ac/dc” blues) into a rhythmic lyric. Hammer collages imagery culled from archival footage and documentaries, as well as footage of queer couplings, including two

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