Let It Float: Steve Seid on The Floating Museum


Book Review


Jul 1, 2022


Steve Seid


In the mid-seventies, Lynn Hershman Leeson emerged from the notorious Dante Hotel with her own divine comedy. Hers were the rings not of hell, but of a more corporeal locale, the things of one’s self. In that low-rent SRO, Lynn, repurposed as Roberta Breitmore, staged not just the artifactual presence of the aforementioned Roberta B, but in this fluidic masquerade saw that art thrived on context and disruption. The walls of institutional art, the museums’, too often spoke of their own stifling power that could be exclusionary, discriminatory, or just indifferent. So art as an agent of change might fare better in unexpected settings, mundane intrusions of the everyday with informal obligations on participants and viewers alike.

Thus was launched a provisional curatorial platform called The Floating Museum in which by the-seat-of-her-pants, the-sparest-of-resources, and the-tenacity-of-radical-vision, Lynn harnessed the energy of literally hundreds of artists and bespattered the Bay Area…