Lynn Hershman Leeson, Civic Radar
Exhibition Review
May 5, 2017
Art Press
Anna Novakov

Hershman Leeson’s work plays with the interface between technology as progress and its status as a harbinger of dystopian futurism. Working in thematic series, some of her best works serve as premonitions for an apocalyptic future run amok by cyborgs and surveillance. Enduring pieces, including the Roberta Breitmore series, continue to challenge our understanding of personal identity, physical appearance and the establishment of personality markers. The Dante Hotel project, grounded in 1970s San Francisco provides echoes of the city’s unique, bohemian past which has all but disappeared. Hershman Leeson’s return to familiar topics, over the course of years and even decades, reinforces the dystopian quality of some of her most memorable works. The inability to set aside past interests reinforces the inevitability of gender and identity discourse across generations.