This essay investigates the ways in which Barbara Hammer’s film Nitrate Kisses (1992) traces stories about homosexuality throughout the twentieth century. Inspired both by the concept of “vertical cinema,” as theorized by Maya Deren, and by the historical-philosophical reflections of Michel Foucault and Walter Benjamin, Hammer realizes a montage process in Nitrate Kisses that resurrects a forgotten historical memory through the juxtaposition of archival materials and original images. It is a memory that is reappropriated through the film as an experiential, tactile, and emotional moment.
“Feeling-Images”: Montage, Body, and Historical Memory in Barbara Hammer’s Nitrate Kisses
Alessandra Chiarini was recently awarded her PhD in cinema, music, and theater from the University of Bologna, with a dissertation entitled “Still Moving Images: The Dialectical Relationships Between Cinema and Photography in Contemporary Artistic Practices.” Her primary research interests include the interplay between art and cinema, appropriation art, and New German Cinema. She has written essays on Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Studio Azzurro, and Cindy Sherman, and on the relationship between cinema and photography in contemporary media culture.
Alessandra Chiarini; “Feeling-Images”: Montage, Body, and Historical Memory in Barbara Hammer’s Nitrate Kisses. Feminist Media Histories 1 July 2016; 2 (3): 90–101. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2016.2.3.90
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