Modern Art Oxford presents a major solo exhibition of American artist and filmmaker, Lynn Hershman Leeson. Evolving from a tradition of installation art and performance with an emphasis on interactivity, Hershman Leeson has received international critical acclaim for a body of work spanning more than fifty years, which combines art with social commentary, particularly the relationship between humans and technology.
This exhibition will convey the diversity of Hershman Leeson’s remarkable oeuvre, including drawings and paintings from the 1960s, performance documentation from the 1970s and 1980s, photographs, moving image, site-specific interventions, and artificial intelligence works from the 1990s.
Hershman Leeson’s work explores questions of privacy in an era of surveillance, the relationship between real and virtual worlds, and the mutability of identity in an ever-changing world.
A cinematic installation, The Infinity Engine, developed by the artist over a number of years with scientists in the USA and recently in the UK with the University of Oxford, combines film, data and sculpture to explore the limits and implications of genetic research. The Infinity Engine takes a critical look at ramifications of manipulation of the genome, creating a multi-platform, immersive environment that explores some of the ethical implications facing society today.
This landmark exhibition will reveal the prescience and continued relevance of Hershman Leeson’s artistic concerns in a presentation of her endlessly inventive and engaging body of work produced in the last fifty years.
Hershman Leeson, lives and works between San Francisco, California and New York. Over the last three decades, artist and filmmaker has been internationally acclaimed for her pioneering use of new technologies and her investigations of issues that are now recognised 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. A major survey of Hershman Leeson’s work was presented in 2012 at Kunsthalle Bremen and her work was featured in A Bigger Splash: Painting After Performance, Tate Modern, London in 2012.
Hershman Leeson released the ground-breaking documentary !Women Art Revolution in 2011. It has been screened at major museums internationally and named by the Museum of Modern Art as one of the three best documentaries of the year. She wrote, directed, produced and edited the feature films Strange Culture, Conceiving Ada, and Teknolust, all featuring Tilda Swinton and the films were showcased at the Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival before being distributed internationally.
The artist has been honoured with grants from Creative Capital, The National Endowment for the Arts, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Siemens International Media Arts Award, Lifetime Achievement from Siggraph, Prix Ars Electronica, and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Prize for Writing and Directing. The Digital Art Museum in Berlin recognized her work with the d.velop digital art award (d.daa), for Lifetime Achievement in the field of New Media. Her work is featured in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, William Lehmbruck Museum, Tate Modern, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Canada, Walker Art Center, The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester and the University Art Museum, Berkeley, in addition to the celebrated private collections. Hershman Leeson is Emeritus Professor, University of California, Davis; and has been A.D. White Professor, Cornell University.
Lynn Hershman Leeson: Origins Of The Species Part 2 – Modern Art Oxford – 30 May to 9 August 2015