- Occupy the Dream
Give back, give back, give back is ringing in my years, in my ears, in my year ears. At seventy-three years old I owe a lot to the burgeoning, ever-changing, fluid queer community that has respected and supported my choice to make an experimental cinema for an experimental lifestyle. And, that is my concern: the lifestyle.
Through forging our own signs and signifiers we have created a culture. As we assimilate and marry let us not forget our differences, the differences that make us show and glow and add such a radical dimension to a near-uniform Western culture.
I don’t want to be like you and I don’t want you to be like me. Vive la [End Page 566] différence! There is more to life than the white picket fence, the cushy job, the planned retirement. I know, I’m middle class (almost wrote “crass”), yes; I’m middle crass, white, and lesbian queer. Sure, I’ve had an easier life than some in this land of prejudice and poverty, but I can say I never wanted the American dream.
Let’s occupy the dream; let’s continue to make a radical cinema, an estranged poetry, novels without ends, and performances that rock the boat while preserving the ocean. Do I make myself clear?
To spell it out: VARIETY, EXCHANGE, CRAZY ZEAL, ENERGY, NONSTOP ENTHUSIASM, and a COMMITMENT TO EXPERIMENTATION IN ART, LIFE, AND THE SOCIAL MEDIA.
I love you all; now just let me give back one more wild film, one more political installation, one more book and let me pour as much energy as is left over into our fabulous, amazing, always surprising communities of queer.
Barbara Hammer is a queer visual artist primarily working in film and video and honored with major retrospectives at Tate Modern in London, Jeu de Paume in Paris, Toronto International Film Festival in Canada, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. HAMMER! Making Movies out of Sex and Life, a book of memoirs and personal film theory, was published by Feminist Press, City University of New York. Hammer was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013 for her current project on Elizabeth Bishop. She lives and works in New York City and is represented by KOW-Berlin.