The New Museum’s ‘Lynn Hershman Leeson: Twisted’ Exalts the Prophet of Digital Art
Exhibition Review
Jul 13, 2021
Blackbook Magazine
Nena Hawke

It’s a pithily chicken-and-egg observation, addressing the eternal question of how much each generation is responsible for their seemingly own innovations, and the societal progress or decay/decline that results (like how we can conclude that social media in the end – sorry – is mostly bad). But she herself has always been a cultural prophet, of sorts, perhaps something of the contemporary art world’s answer to William Gibson, if you will. And a current exhibition at New York’s New Museum, provocatively titled Lynn Hershman Leeson: Twisted (on view through October 3), helps to explicate to exactly what degree that is the case…

Elsewhere she deals with themes of consumerism, surveillance and even illness, mostly all through an ambivalent technological lens. Hershman was actually confined for several months to a hospital oxygen tank when she developed cardiomyopathy and almost died during a pregnancy in 1965 – and in fact, some more recent works are even the result of collaborations and interactions with the scientific community.