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Inspiring Hammer to pick up a film camera, Maya Deren’s influence can be felt throughout Hammer’s body of work. At the end of her career, Hammer made Maya Deren’s Sink, a meditation on Deren’s mystique and lasting influence.

This program features Hammer’s first film, Dyketactics, an ecstatic and dizzying collage of superimposed images of lesbian nudists converging in a field, Double Strength, which chronicles Hammer's love affair with trapeze artist Terry Sendgraff, Maya Deren’s Sink, and Deren’s At Land, which overflows with Sapphic tones.

Double Strength
U.S., 1978
Directed by Barbara Hammer
Approx. 14 min. Digital.

“A poetic study of the stages of a lesbian relationship by two women performance artists from honeymoon, through struggle, to break-up, to enduring friendship. Starring Terry Sendgraff on trapeze.” – Barbara Hammer

U.S., 1974
Directed by Barbara Hammer
Approx. 4 min. Digital.

“After seeing Maya Deren’s film Meshes of the Afternoon, she was inspired to make experimental films about her personal life. After coming out as a lesbian she 'took off on a motorcycle with a super-8 camera' and in 1974 filmed Dyketactics.” –

“A popular lesbian commercial.” – Barbara Hammer

Maya Deren's Sink
U.S., 2011
Directed by Barbara Hammer

Approx. 30 min. Digital.

Light projections in Deren’s intimate space evoke a former time and space providing entree into the homes of an influential filmmaker we will never know. The film reclaims the spaces that inspired her work in order to share it with audiences. Time and space are collapsed as film locations of the 40’s are re-imagined in the present.

Performances by an actor based on Deren’s film and writing as well as overlooked biographical insights reveal a creative personality untouched by convention. Voices from the past speaking from doorways, windows and picture frames include the current L.A. and N.Y.C. home owners, Teiji Ito’s second wife, Judith Malvina, Carolee Schneemann, Ross Lipmann and others. Through collapsing time and extending space, a unique architectural portrait of the artist is created.

The experimental soundtrack is compiled and augmented by the music of Teiji Ito (Maya’s third husband) and Tavia Ito, Teiji’s daughter.

Barbara Hammer shorts courtesy of the Estate of Barbara Hammer, New York and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.

At Land
U.S., 1944
Directed by Maya Deren
Approx. 14 min.

At Land has a dream-like narrative in which a woman, played by Deren, is washed up on a beach and goes on a strange journey encountering other people and other versions of herself. Deren once said that the film is about the struggle to maintain ones personal identity. The composer John Cage and the poet and film critic Parker Tyler were involved in making the film, and appear in the film, which was shot at Amagansett, Long Island.” – Light Cone

Courtesy The Film-makers' Cooperative.

Film Forum