Laura Poitras in Conversation with Lynn Hershman Leeson | PEN America
Long before the digital revolution and virtualization of identities became part of our everyday lives, American artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson created surrogate personas and investigated issues of surveillance, interfacing of humans and technology, and media as a tool to counter censorship and repression.
LP: People have always used encryption. That is one of the goals of encryption, how to communicate privately. I think art is in a kind of different category, because it is communication with the desire to express something more openly. Or perhaps it is communicating some kind of different emotion. It is a translation, or a type of communication that is not based on a set language…
Lynn Hersham Leeson: “her pioneering use of new technologies and her investigations of issues that are now recognized as key to the working of our society: identity in a time of consumerism, privacy in a era of surveillance, interfacing of humans and machines, and the relationship between real and virtual worlds. [source: http://www.furtherfield.org/features/interviews/woman-art-technology-interview-lynn-hershman-leeson]
still from Tania Bruguera—A State of Vulnerability https://vimeo.com/162320175#t=600s
“…I think the goverment did a piece for me…”
Her latest work explores censorship and vulnerability in the work of artist Tania Bruguera. “Documenting the personal and emotional fallout of Bruguera’s unjust detentions, Hershman Leeson’s new film Tania Bruguera—A State of Vulnerability observes the artist’s sessions with psychiatrist Dr Frank Ochberg, one of the founding fathers of modern psycho-traumatology who helped first define Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. An intimate and profound discussion of family disorders and cultural trauma emerges as the film touches on the various ways in which censorship of both the family and society have come to shape Bruguera’s aesthetic.” [source: http://www.lynnhershman.com/film/]
[ cover image : Courtesy Lynn Hershman Leeson ]