Lynn Hershman Leeson, ‘Home Front - Cycles of Contention’, 1993-2011, bitforms gallery

“Home Front – Cycles of Contention” operates as a miniature soap opera that is set within a gray dollhouse fashioned in the American style of Carpenter Gothic. Telling its story on two screens, one set within a kitchen and another positioned externally, the relationship of a married couple takes focus. The story of their presumed idyllic Saturday morning slowly erupts into a scene of domestic violence.

Two viewpoints of this narrative are examined: an objective private moment and a subjective recounting of this action afterward - bringing up conflicting memories. An unseen psychologist in the exterior world probes each character to remember the event differently, and eventually a pledge is made to remain committed in the relationship. Repeating in a 26 minute loop and positioned to contrast the fiction of memory with actual events, this installation enacts a drama reflective of destructive behavioral cycles, in which one continually vies for power.

About Lynn Hershman Leeson

An early pioneer of new media artworks, Lynn Hershman Leeson explores the moral and ethical quandaries raised in a culture obsessed with technology and artifice. Leeson is perhaps best known for her creation in the 1970s of a fictitious alter ego named Roberta Breitmore, whom she brought to life through performances and photographs and exposed to such voguish experiences as therapy and Weight Watchers. Revisiting this theme decades later, Leeson created an installation re-imagining Edouard Manet’s Olympia (1863) by posing a custom-made RealDoll to look like the prostitute in the iconic portrait. The installation, entitled Olympia: Fictive Projections and the Myth of the Real Woman (2007-2008), features images of Manet’s painting projected onto the sex doll’s body.

American, b. 1941, Cleveland, Ohio, based in San Francisco, California