Watch + Listen

Watch + Listen

This page provides the latest videos from the Hammer's exhibitions, public programs and events, including lectures, conversations, forums, and performances.

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From the Highlands to the Concert Hall: Classical Music of Armenia
Armenia’s rich musical history is brought to life by the UCLA Armenian Music Ensemble, featuring baritone Garrett Schoonover, and the VEM String Quartet. Conducted by Movses Pogossian, violinist, Professor of Music at UCLA. Commemorating the anniversary of the Armenian genocide, this concert features exquisite chamber music by one of the founders of Armenian modern classical music, Komitas Vardapet, as well as composers Romanos Melikian and Edward Mirzoian. This concert also includes the world premiere of Kristapor Najarian’s Rhapsodic Fantasy for two scordatura cellos.
Michael Smith: UCLA Department of Art Lecture
Michael Smith, who began his career as an abstract painter, now performs and makes videos, sculpture, drawings, multimedia installations, and puppet shows. His works are in the collections of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Stand Up and Fight Back: Tactics and Strategies for Effective Creative Activism
Reverend James Lawson, a leading theoretician and tactician of nonviolence within the Civil Rights Movement who was instrumental in training Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of US civil rights activists, joins Nadine Bloch, training director for Beautiful Trouble, an organization that promotes creative strategic activism.
Terry George, Eric Esrailian & Stephen D. Smith
Director Terry George has represented the horror and humanity of genocide in films such as Hotel Rwanda and The Promise, his most recent feature about the Armenian genocide. Producer and physician Eric Esrailian and Dr. Stephen D. Smith, executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation, join George to discuss the challenges and politics of representing real-world atrocities within the constraints of the film medium. Moderated by journalist and filmmaker Carla Garapedian.
The Not So Silver Screen: Black Women in Media
The widespread coverage of race and gender inequality in Hollywood often excludes black women. The wage gap for black women in the entertainment industry is a symptom of a larger issue: the invisibility and devaluing of black women in media culture as performers, producers, and directors. Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw moderates a panel that explores this narrative alongside solutions to promote black women as creators. Panelists: legendary actress Diahann Carroll; stage and soap actress Tonya Pinkins; film, television, and theater actress and director LisaGay Hamilton; veteran Hollywood casting director Tracy "Twinkie" Byrd; April Reign, #OscarsSoWhite creator and the founder and editor of; and University of Alabama professor Kristen Warner, who studies race, representation, and the media.
Latasha Harlins: The Victimization of Black Girls
In 1991, Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old African American girl, was shot in the head and killed at her local L.A. grocery store. Her death, which happened just 13 days after the Rodney King beating, garnered little attention. Black girls continue to be the targets of widespread violence with minimal accountability systems in place. Historian Brenda Stevenson and legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, both UCLA professors, discuss how this case illuminates the vulnerability of black girls and how communities can serve and protect them.
Say Her Name: An Evening of Arts and Action
The #SayHerName movement honors the lives of black women and girls killed by police. Each act of this powerful performance lifts up the voices and stories of women and girls of color through spoken word, song, and dance. Featuring family members of the victims of police violence, the program pays respect to the lives of their loved ones by encouraging us to say their names out loud. Curated by Abby Dobson, artist-in-residence at the African American Policy Forum.
Aruna D'Souza
Jean Dubuffet shocked the art establishment in the mid-1940s by rejecting conventional notions of beauty and good taste. He used drawing to indulge his passion for research and experimentation, and his sense of adventure pervades this landmark museum exhibition of his drawings. Writer Aruna D’Souza traces Dubuffet’s radical approach to the mundane and the outrageous, and highlights what keeps these drawings vibrant and relevant today.
The Politics and Problematics of Representation
Jimmie Durham was active in the 1980s New York City downtown art scene during a period of politically urgent exhibitions and calls for increased visibility for artists of color. This climate of multiculturalism created opportunities for artists but also reinforced existing racial and cultural divides. Moderated by exhibition curator Anne Ellegood, art historian Miwon Kwon and curator Elisabeth Sussman discuss representation in Durham’s work and contemporary art practices.
Post-screening Q&A with Michael Apted and Michelle Raheja: Incident at Oglala
A Q&A with director Michael Apted and Professor Michelle Raheja will follow a screening of "Incident at Oglala." American Indian Movement leader Leonard Peltier was arrested and convicted of murder following the deaths of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. Veteran documentarian Michael Apted captures the gross miscarriage of justice surrounding the mysterious event as well as the escalating tensions between Native American groups and the US government at the time.
Roger Herman: UCLA Department of Art Lecture
Roger Herman is a professor of painting and drawing in the UCLA Department of Art. His paintings, large-scale woodcuts, and ceramics have been exhibited nationally and internationally, and are included in many private and public collections, including LACMA; MOCA, Los Angeles; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Evie Shockley
Evie Shockley is the author of several poetry collections, including the new black, winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry, and the forthcoming semiautomatic. She has also published a critical study, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry. Her honors include the Stephen Henderson Award and the Holmes National Poetry Prize. Currently the creative editor for Feminist Studies, Shockley is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University.
Inspired by experimental performances of the 1960s, Jen Kennedy and Liz Linden's TELETHON is a participatory performance staged in front of a live audience. The sounds of phone calls to random numbers—dial tones, ringing, voicemail, asking about feminism, surprised responses, clicks—are projected toward the audience to create a cacophonous illustration of contemporary feminism and connection. Jen Kennedy and Liz Linden’s spring residency investigates the semiotics of feminism, exploring both language and intent, and questions how the lens of feminism might support inclusion efforts and political resistance today.
Robert Pinsky
Robert Pinsky is a former United States poet laureate and a widely known proponent of poetry. He has written eight volumes of poems, the most recent of them At the Foundling Hospital. He is a translator of Dante’s Inferno and cotranslator of Czesław Miłosz’s Separate Notebooks, and the author of several influential prose books, including The Sounds of Poetry, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Standing Tall for Tribal Rights
Last year, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and thousands of allies began gathering for one of the largest Native American protests in history. Blocking the development of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the activists known as “water protectors” call attention to environmental policy and sacred sites, but also to a longer history of the dispossession of Native American land. UCLA law professors Carole Goldberg and Angela R. Riley discuss with scholar and activist Melanie K. Yazzie what tribal sovereignty and Indian rights look like in today’s United States as well as in activism more broadly. Moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.
Benjamin Madley
Between 1846 and 1873, California's Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. UCLA Professor Benjamin Madley’s An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873 details this chilling history, including the involvement of state and federal officials, how taxpayer dollars supported the violence, the Indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why it constituted genocide.
Interrogate, Complicate, Implicate: The Work of Jimmie Durham
Throughout his 45-year career, Jimmie Durham has resisted hierarchies, systems of categorization, and monumentality in a practice that embraces materiality, humor, and the play of language. Exhibition curator Anne Ellegood provides an overview of Durham’s work, its distinct position within art history, and vital perspective on colonization, statehood, and the politics of representation. Abraham Cruzvillegas and Jeffrey Gibson—artists and friends of Durham—then join Ellegood to discuss Durham’s work and influence.
Walter Murch & Lawrence Weschler
Three-time Oscar winner Walter Murch is a legendary sound designer, film editor, and an amateur astrophysicist. Initially discounted by professional scientists, his insights into planetary systems and musical harmony have sparked intrigue about invisible forces of the universe. Author Lawrence Weschler delves into Murch’s quixotic quest in his new book, Waves Passing in the Night, “taking us to the very edge of an abyss of meaninglessness and asking us which side of it we think we’re on” (Errol Morris).
Immersive Journalism: Nonny de la Peña
Nonny de la Peña, founder of Emblematic Group, uses digital reality technologies to tell important stories both fictional and news-based that create intense, empathic engagement on the part of viewers. Called the Godmother of Virtual Reality by Engadget and the Guardian, she was also named by Fast Company “One of the People Who Made the World More Creative.” Experience virtual reality at stations in the museum before the program.
The Art & Life of Louise Bourgeois: Robert Storr
Louise Bourgeois’s remarkable artistic career spanned more than 75 years. Renowned critic and curator Robert Storr’s new book surveys her immense oeuvre in unmatched depth. Writing from a uniquely intimate perspective as a close personal friend of the artist and drawing on decades of research, Storr reveals the complexity and passion of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.
Minority Reports
Risk assessments—computer programs that predict the likelihood of someone committing a crime—are increasingly common in courtrooms, yet these “future-crime formulas” are marked by troubling racial prejudices that can influence everything from bond amounts to sentencing to prison time. Julia Angwin of ProPublica examines the hidden biases of these allegedly objective algorithms and their powerful effect on the American criminal justice system. Moderated by USC journalism professor Laura Castañeda.
"Show up, dive in, stay at it": Post-Election Community Gathering at Royce Hall
Jessica Yellin, former chief White House correspondent for CNN, moderates a panel of organization and community leaders who will share their respective points of view about potential or likely consequences of the election and the confirmation of the new administration, and offer suggestions to those who are interested in getting involved and taking action.
Post-screening Q&A: The Nine
Q&A with Julian Hoeber and Katy Grannan follows a screening of "The Nine." Born from director Katy Grannan’s own work as a photographer, "The Nine" is an intimate portrait of a ravaged community living on Modesto’s South Ninth Street—“The Nine”—a barren street in California’s Central Valley. The film focuses on Kiki, an effervescent and childlike drifter, whose only means of escape is through her imagination. Grannan’s evocative depiction of “impressions rather than facts” (New Yorker) is a quiet elegy to a forgotten and abandoned place.
Rachel Cusk
Rachel Cusk’s new work Transit delves deeper into the themes first raised in her critically acclaimed novel Outline, offering a penetrating reflection on childhood and fate, the value of suffering, and the mystery of change. Cusk is the author of three memoirs—A Life’s Work, The Last Supper, and Aftermath—and several novels: Saving Agnes, The Temporary, The Country Life, The Lucky Ones, In the Fold, Arlington Park, and The Bradshaw Variations.
Cameraperson Post-screening Q&A
A Q&A with director Kirsten Johnson follows a screening of "Cameraperson." A boxing match in Brooklyn, the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife, an intimate family moment at home: "Cameraperson" weaves these scenes and others into a tapestry of footage captured over the 25-year career of documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. Combining documentary, autobiography, and ethical inquiry, "Cameraperson" is a glimpse into one filmmaker’s personal journey.
I Am Not Your Negro Post-screening Q&A
A Q&A with director Raoul Peck follows a screening of "I Am Not Your Negro." Working from James Baldwin’s unfinished final novel, I Am Not Your Negro delves into the complex legacies of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. Framing the work as a radical narration about race in America, director Raoul Peck matches Baldwin’s lyrical rhetoric with footage of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, revealing connections between past and present injustices. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.
Ian Bogost: Play Anything
Life is boring, filled with meetings and traffic, errands and emails. Nothing we’d ever call fun. But what if we’ve gotten fun wrong? In Play Anything, the visionary game designer and philosopher Ian Bogost shows how we can overcome daily anxieties and transform the boring, ordinary world into a place of endless playful possibilities.
Election Postmortem
Reflecting on the 2016 presidential election, UCLA political scientist Lynn Vavreck looks at the effectiveness of campaign ads, public policy scholar Theodore R. Johnson discusses the changing role of the black electorate, and University of California, Irvine, political scientist Michael Tesler examines the connection between economic anxiety and racial resentment. Moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.
Amaranth Borsuk
Amaranth Borsuk is a poet, scholar, and book artist exploring materiality across media. She is the author of two books of poems, Pomegranate Eater and Handiwork, as well as three collaborative books and numerous projects spanning print and digital media. The recipient of an NEA-funded Expanded Artists’ Books grant for her intermedia collaboration Abra, she teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing and Poetics at the University of Washington Bothell.