Lynn Hershman Leeson Makes Art From Life’s Challenges
Exhibition Review
Feb 3, 2017
Blake Gopnik

The videos and installations of Lynn Hershman Leeson, which went on view last weekend at Bridget Donahue gallery in New York, are painful things. A piece called Home Front asks viewers to look at a video through the window of a dollhouse, and to listen as the couple on view inside goes from an affectionate moment to a full-blown hissy-fit fight. Almost all of us have been there, and done that. An earlier series of videos, now assembled into an ensemble called The Complete Electronic Diaries (today’s Pic is taken from it) consists of pretty straight footage of Hershman as she tells various harrowing stories from her life—all of which could quite possibly be true. But did she really do a stint as a call girl, and think of it as half-decent employment? Hershman’s work isn’t always easy to take, but it certainly makes most of the other art on view in New York seem so light that it’s barely there.