Lynn Hershman Leeson, ‘Olympia: Fictive Projections and the Myth of the Real Woman’, 2007-2008, bitforms gallery

Edouard Manet's 1865 painting, “Olympia,” shocked the art world by depicting a prostitute whose unabashed gaze was part invitation, part dare. Lynn Hershman Leeson provocatively restages Manet's notorious artwork in her installation “Olympia: Fictive Projections and the Myth of the Real Woman", by featuring a custom-designed sex doll. Incorporating Manet's scandal, this work reveals cultural predilections toward displaced desire. Revealing a range of historical re-interpretations, the projected 35mm slides sample Internet images and expose residual artifacts.

Installation dimensions variable.

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