Lynn Hershman, Dante Hotel, 1973–1974
Lynn Hershman
Dante Hotel

Lynn Hershman’s work comprises photography, video, film and installation. She also is a pioneer of computer art. She studied art with a major in art criticism at San Francisco State University. Her works explore the construction of identity in private and public spaces and the interaction between reality and fiction. From 1970 to 1979, she created Roberta Breitmore, a fictional character, which she portrayed along with four other actresses. Roberta had her own life: She got a driver’s license and opened a bank account. In 1995, Hershman received the Siemens Media Art Prize from the ZKM Karlsruhe. She also received the Golden Nica at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz in 1999. She has recently made several feature films, including Teknolust (2002) and Strange Culture (2007), as well as a documentary film on feminist art called !Women Art Revolution (2010). MM

Dante Hotel was a site-specific performative installation created by Lynn Hershman and the artist Eleanor Coppola in two hotel rooms that they had rented for nine months and two weeks, respectively. Throughout Hershman’s room, objects were distributed to look like traces of people living there. The objects allowed visitors to reconstruct the stories behind these fictional characters. As in Hershman’s other works from the 1970s, in Dante Hotel she investigates not only the relationship between life, art and identity, but also between the beholder and the artwork.

Courtesy Lynn Hershman

Format
16 mm film, b&w, sound, 10:00 min

Issue date
1973–1974

Archive Signature
HER 1