Lynn Hershman

Lay Off & Leave Me Alone

1976; printed 1978

Medium
Photograph, colour, on paper
Dimensions
Image: 1015 x 760 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented anonymously 2010
Reference
P20342

Display caption

Roberta Breitmore was a fictional person, created, enacted and documented by Lynn Hershman from 1974 to 1978. During her four-year existence Roberta had a bank account and library card, attended weight watchers and rented an apartment. Roberta Construction Chart #1 gives detailed instructions on how to create Roberta’s appearance. In Roberta’s Body Language Chart, Roberta is photographed during a psychiatric session with annotations interpreting her body language. Hershman later recalled: ‘With the completion of Roberta, I finally closed the chapter on that idea of the single woman – Roberta and me – as victim.’

Gallery label, June 2011