By Genevieve Kyle

Lynn Hershman Leeson’s exhibit, Twisted, offers a look into the past, present, and future of society.

Artist Lynn Hershman Leeson explores society’s relationship with technology in her new exhibit, Twisted. The exhibition features evolving cyborgs, wax-cast breathing machines, and the reincarnation of her famed 1973 project, Roberta Breitmore (a private performance where Hershman Leeson transformed her identity into a fictional persona). Hershman Leeson’s work investigates the intersection between technology and the self. The artist has worked with the latest technologies —from Artificial Intelligence to DNA programming— for over 50 years and continues to anticipate technological developments impact on our society.

Her latest installation is a celebration of the artist’s long-spanning career. Displaying Lynn’s past creations and some unseen works, the exhibit will bring together different drawing, sculpture, video, and photography elements and interactive works by the artist.   

Over email to Mission, Hershman Leeson explains that the exhibit explores “the evolution of the cyborg, our relationship with the virtual, boundaries between reality and fiction along with identity, the progression of extinction, the loss of privacy, and ways to understand and help modify the damage that has been done to the planet.” 

For the project, Hershman Leeson created a wax mold of her face, added hair, and recorded sounds of her breathing on audiotapes before inserting them into the base of the masks. The project was Leeson’s way of questioning different aspects of femininity and women’s sense of entrapment. 

Exploring the relationship between art and time, Hershman Leeson’s variety of art is “a reflection of the culture in which it is made,” she explains. Using live performance, film, print, and photography to get her message across, Hershman Leeson doesn’t harbor any “prejudice about disciplines, allowing us to move beyond the limitations and restrictions that culture often sets.”  

“An enhanced consciousness and a desire to see a wider range of my work” is Leeson’s takeaway from Twisted. While her work maintains its link between humanity and technology, the artist predicts our societal evolution and leaves us wondering what the future will hold.

Twisted is taking place at The New Museum, New York, until October 3rd.

Image credit: Lynn Hershman Leeson