Lynn Hershman Leeson’s New-Media Experiments Bend Reality
Exhibition Review
Mar 8, 2017
The Village Voice
Hannah Stamler

“In the beginning, it seemed innocent enough.” These words open Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Seduction of a Cyborg, a dark tale for the Information Age included in “Remote Controls,” the artist’s second solo exhibition at Bridget Donahue Gallery.

The short video, made in 1994, follows an unnamed blind woman who undergoes an unspecified procedure that grants her sight via computer transmission. At first, she is enraptured by her techno-gift and gazes blissfully into simulated landscapes made of the pixels that beam from her desktop’s screen. But soon she is paralyzed by it, unable to turn away from a flood of images –– no longer just pristine natural vistas, but also scenes of human civilization — that becomes increasingly rapid, indiscriminate, even violent. As Hershman Leeson narrates, the woman bears witness to “the pollution of history,” and with it the pollution of her own body, which weakens and falters under the stress.