previews

Columbus

“BARBARA HAMMER: IN THIS BODY”

Wexner Center for the Arts
The Ohio State University 1871 North High Street
June 1–August 11

Curated by Jennifer Lange

“The light of the body shocks me—that I’m able to live without weight,” wrote Barbara Hammer in a recent email. She marveled at watching herself wane. Hammer—renowned visionary and maverick of experimental and lesbian cinema—died this past March at the age of seventy-nine, from endometrioid ovarian cancer. Inspired by dying, and admirably concerned with her legacy, she worked until the end to fine-tune what she knew would be her posthumous retrospective. More than a dozen of her films, dating from 1968 to 2008, will screen during the exhibition’s run, as will new Wexner-supported collaborations, for which Hammer invited noted filmmakers to reenvision and complete four of her unfinished projects. However, it is the nearly fifty gallery-based works, made between 1993 and 2018, that will ballast “In This Body.” Collectively, the artworks form a regenerative system of material that coalesces around transporting visualizations of aging and terminal illness. Ever radical, ever generous, Hammer faced death and left us the gift of what she saw.