Lynn Hershman

Collective for Living Cinema

In her multi-part video work The Electronic Diary, 1985–89, Lynn Hershman asserts that the diary “has long been a way for women to understand their private thoughts and experiences.” The use of the definite article in the work’s title is one indication that Hershman’s project goes beyond what was once isolated under the rubric “private”: she is interested in what makes one story definite and all others indefinite. Her editing, particularly in the first segment, “Confessions of a Chameleon,” often reduces what she is saying to a sound bite—without, however, hiding this through the tropes of continuity that are ceaselessly repeated in the media. This section is full of special effects that continually split, multiply, reduce, frame, and colorize the artist’s talking-head: the chameleon changes its colors to blend in with its background. This segment makes social norms for women the background

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 1989 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.