Lynn Hershman Leeson


Since she was created in 1972 by Lynn Hershman Leeson, the figure Roberta Breitmore moves and reproduces herself much like the ghostly double of the artist through the various realities and media formats. One could say Roberta Breitmore, performs media realities: she appears in films or in reality at vernissages, meets with men on dates, materializes in three-fold form, wanders onto the Golden Gate Bridge like on a film still of the American Independent Cinema, or becomes a victim of exorcist ritual. Roberta is a comic heroine; it is possible to communicate with her in cyberspace through the interface of a puppet which has her features and meet her in the virtual world of the “second life”. Her dress, her glasses, a wig are traces of this existence. Roberta owns an insurance card and is congratulated by the President of America on her virtual birthday. The media documentation of Roberta’s performance, which will be exhibited in Moments, are at the same time evidence of the most various formats in which a performance can represent itself: from Vintage Print, original photography, exhibition copy, poster or an advertisement, film, video, eye-witness account and art criticism etc. through to the copy of a film from the Internet on a Home-Printer. Lynn Hershman Leeson will develop this process of media duplication of the documents herself during her stay in Karlsruhe.

Since Lynn Hershman Leeson (*1941 in Cleveland Ohio, USA) began her career in the late 1960s as award-winning American media artist and filmmaker, she has received wide recognition for a body of work combining art with social commentary, particularly with regard to the relationship between humans and technology. A pioneer in New Media, she has been internationally acclaimed for her use of new technologies and her early investigations of issues such as identity in a time of consumerism, privacy in an era of surveillance, interfacing of humans and machines, and the relationship between real and virtual worlds. Hershman Leeson was awarded the ZKM Siemens Media Art Price in 1995 and the d.velop digital art award in 2010. Her work is, among others, in the collections of the MoMA in New York, the Tate Modern in London, the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe and the Hess Art Collection. A major exhibition of her work will be presented at the Kunsthalle Bremen, in 2012.