Conceiving the Future: The Prescient Lynn Hershman Leeson
Film Review
Mar 17, 2020
Filmmaker Magazine
Joanne McNeil

There’s no question that Lynn Hershman Leeson is a prescient artist and filmmaker. Prescience is even a theme in her work, one she grapples with as a double-edged sword. Impossible to measure except in retrospect, it is a lonely quality to have in the present. After Leeson rocketed to art stardom following a 2014 career retrospective at the ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art in Karlsruhe, Germany, her success was widely praised as “overdue”—another word that culture’s Cassandras are used to hearing. It seems unwise to disentangle her originality and influence from her tenacity and patience. Her 2019 interactive installation “Shadow Stalker,” about predictive policing algorithms, is a high-profile, well-received commission by New York’s The Shed, but Leeson is quick to remind new admirers of those long years in the shadows.