A collection of archival papers, audio-visual media, publications, artifacts, photographs, letters, and other documents connected
to Hershman-Leeson's art works and projects created since the 1970s and through 2003.
Lynn Hershman Leeson (b. 1941) is a performance artist and filmmaker who, in various media, has investigated the idea of selfhood
and what establishes an individual as a sentient, gendered, unique person. Between the years of 1974 and 1978, Hershman Leeson
spent much of her time performing as an alter ego, the character Roberta Breitmore. Much of the work--drawings, photographs,
clothing, medical records, letters, etc.--Hershman Leeson produced during the Breitmore years related to the character's emotional
and practical existences. Hershman Leeson seemed to be demonstrating that the two existences could and should not be easily
separated--nor should the artist herself be easily separated from the character she created. Hershman Leeson's work in film,
video, and new media has been equally focused toward exploring the ways that bodies interact and define themselves. Lorna (1983-84), described by the artist as "the first interactive video art disc," allowed the viewer to experience the emotions
of the title character while also, at key points, making important decisions for her. The viewer was both entwined with and
removed from Lorna's life. In the 1980s and 90s, Hershman continued to focus on new media, expanding her work in video and
creating online environments that incorporated artificial intelligence. Concurrently, she began to direct feature films; her
first film, Conceiving Ada (1997), situated the nineteenth-century computer science innovator Ada Lovelace in juxtaposition with the twentieth-century
computer reality that she helped to create. A winner of numerous awards and honors for her contributions to art practice,
Hershman Leeson is currently Chair of the Film Department at the San Francisco Art Institute. She is Professor Emerita at
the University of California, Davis, and an A.D. White Professor at large at Cornell University. !Women Art Revolution reflects years of interviews that Hershman Leeson has compiled in order to tell the story of the feminist art movement in
the artists' own words.
155 Linear Feet
(100 manuscript boxes, 90 record storage containers)
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Open for research. Audiovisual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.