Irish Film Institute -Resisting Paradise + Q&A

Resisting Paradise + Q&A

Outlook is delighted to welcome Barbara Hammer, avant-garde filmmaker and pioneering documentarist, who will introduce her latest film, Resisting Paradise (July 31 at 6.30), and a short retrospective of her earlier work. Making the invisible visible is what compels the prolific Hammer. ‘So much of my work is about trying to uncover hidden histories, the stories that aren’t talked about or even recognised,’ says the New Yorkbased artist. Her explorations have yielded singular results: daring, unorthodox works exhibiting a dizzying array of visual juxtapositions that provoke visceral sensations while pulling apart and reconfiguring cultural representations of lesbian history and sexuality.
Resisting Paradise emerged from her experiences while an artist-in-residence in the small fishing village of Cassis in Southern France. Following in the footsteps of Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard, Hammer, herself a former painter, was seeking to capture the splendour of the Mediterranean landscape. The outbreak of war in Kosovo led her to recast her original idea and to immerse her poetic investigations within a political framework. The result is a 90-minute experimental documentary that juxtaposes the lives of painters Matisse and Bonnard during World War 2 with those of several French Resistance fighters who are still alive. Using text from the artists’ letters to each other as voiceover as well as interviews with the now-elderly Resistance fighters, the film delves into issues of artistic identity, the pleasure of looking, and political responsibility. Resisting Paradise asks questions about what it means to be an artist in a time of catastrophe, and this brilliant, searching documentary provides no easy answers. The screening will be followed by an interview with the filmmaker.
We are also showing Hammer’s historical trilogy Nitrate Kisses (1992), Tender Fictions (1995) and History Lessons (2000), together with some of her short films.

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