From 1973-1978, West Coast artist Lynn Hershman analyzed contemporary culture by performing the role of a fictitious person, Roberta Breitmore. Hershman carefully constructed Roberta's persona by adopting a style of handwriting, a psychological identity, and distinct physical attributes. As illustrated on the construction chart, Hershman wore colorful makeup and a cheap blond wig. She even had her own checking account, line of credit, and therapist. Some of her "artifacts" and documentation appear in the display case in this gallery.
Through her daily interactions with people in the urban environment, Roberta becomes part of their reality and they become part of her fiction. Whether she is searching for a roommate through personal ads or receiving a psychiatric evaluation, Roberta Breitmore's experiences expand and reflect upon often painful and emotional aspects of our everyday lives.