Lynn Hershman

Roberta’s Body Language Chart

1978; printed 2009

Not on display

Artist
Lynn Hershman born 1941
Medium
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
Dimensions
Image: 1026 × 853 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented anonymously 2010
Reference
P20340

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

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