Identity Theft

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Identity Theft
Curated by: Jori Finkel

Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
May 19th, 2007 - August 11th, 2007
Opening: May 18th, 2007 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

santa monica/venice

Sometimes it seems like Cindy Sherman invented role-playing in contemporary art. But before she started her landmark Untitled Film Stills in 1977, other artists were already dressing up and acting out for performance, video, and, yes, photography. This exhibition is the first to focus on three of these artists - Lynn Hershman, Eleanor Antin, and Suzy Lake - who pursued some of the most dramatic self-transformations imaginable. In San Francisco, Hershman donned a wig to create an alter ego named Roberta Breitmore, a fictional character who grew so real over the years that she acquired her own driver�s license, apartment, and romantic encounters. In Southern California, Antin gave birth to three "selves," including a king who reigned over the streets of Solana Beach and a flirtatious nurse who fell in with some hijackers. In Montreal, Lake posed as a sultry model for one series of photographs and, in a clear case of identity theft, assumed her friends� facial features for another. In different ways, all three artists challenged fixed notions of identity and femininity. They also used the truth-telling power of photography to realize their fictions - both anticipating the digital manipulation of images and paving the way for conceptual artists to come, from Cindy Sherman to Nikki Lee.