Lynn Hershman Leesons Existential Questions In The First Person Plural
Exhibition Review
Aug 16, 2018
Tobi Maier

Over four chapters, Hershman Leeson faces the camera in a confessional style akin to US talk shows. Here, the character reveals personal details: what provoked her to become an artist, her own estrangement from her body, that her husband’s leaving her led her to substitute cookies for sex. We see the taped progress of an illness and imagery of body scans juxtaposed with footage from the October 1989 earthquake in northern California. Her diaries become gradually more tragic and an initial suspicion provoked by their demands for empathy gives way to compassion. Hershman Leeson’s existential question: ‘What would you take if you were given 15 minutes to take anything that means something to you if you were dislocated forever,’ resonates uncannily within the bare walls of the defunct warehouse. As the artist adds, however: ‘Sometimes dying in your own prime leads to immortality…