Hammer Blog

  • An “Unruly” Material: Balata in Francis Upritchard’s Practice

    An “Unruly” Material: Balata in Francis Upritchard’s Practice

    Francis Upritchard’s discovery of the rubber-like material called balata was happenstance. While in Belem, Brazil for a residency in 2004, she stumbled upon balata figurines at an outdoor market. The material, the figurines, and the seller intrigued her. Mr. Darlindo, the artisan and seller with whom Upritchard struck up a conversation, invited her back to his studio for a lesson.

  • How Can a Museum Foster a Spirit of Giving?

    How Can a Museum Foster a Spirit of Giving?

    November and December have long been associated with a season of giving. At the Hammer Museum, you can immerse yourself in the giving spirit by participating in a project that positively impacts an overlooked segment of our population—incarcerated youth.

  • Choreographing Experiences in Space: Olga Viso Interviews Jim Hodges, Part 2

    Choreographing Experiences in Space: Olga Viso Interviews Jim Hodges, Part 2

    The mirror that India held up to me demanded me to reevaluate so many things, starting from very simple things like crossing the street to more complicated issues, such as my relationship to currency and money and power. Deeper still were reflections on permanence and impermanence, creation, death and life, and undamental beliefs and spirituality. There is this spectrum of experience there, from the mundane to the very heavy.

  • The Short Films of Yuri Ancarani

    The Short Films of Yuri Ancarani

    In the Italian filmmaker Yuri Ancarani’s trilogy of short films titled La malattia del ferro (The disease of iron; 2010–12), viewers are ushered into the hidden worlds of three very distinct and extremely specialized occupations: marble miners, scuba divers, and surgeons. The title refers to a syndrome something like cabin fever, in which workers who have spent a lot of time at sea have trouble adjusting to life on dry land. The laborers in each of these films appear to be completely removed from ordinary life. They are everyday heroes, alone together, just the workers and the machines that they rely on to do their work.