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Film Programs
The Never Ending

September 22 at 4:00
East Building Auditorium

Barbara Hammer’s focus on physicality and the body continued throughout her life, as did a sustained exploration into the aging process, the ramifications of illness, and an unflinching perspective on the act of dying. Sanctus (1990, 19 minutes, restored by the Academy Film Archive) is woven from X-ray footage recorded in the 1950s by Dr. James Sibley Watson; it is followed by A Horse Is Not a Metaphor (2008, 30 minutes), the artist’s depiction of her own struggle with the diagnoses and treatment of ovarian cancer. For Hammer, “ . . . cancer is not a ‘battle,’ cancer is a disease. There are aberrant cells not ‘deadly foes.’ She is not ‘combative and brave,’ she is living with cancer. She is not going to win or lose her ‘battle.’ She is not a ‘survivor,’ she is living with cancer. . . . ” The program concludes with a single-channel version of the multichannel installation Evidentiary Bodies (2018, 11 minutes), Hammer’s last completed work. (Total running time 60 minutes)

still from A Horse Is Not a Metaphor (2008)
courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix

Film Programs

The National Gallery of Art’s film program provides many opportunities throughout the year to view classic and contemporary cinema from around the world.

View the current schedule here.

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