This month, Director Paul Hobson discusses ideas that connect two artists, Debora Delmar Corp and Lynn Hershman Leeson.
In the 1960s and 1970s, artists began to draw attention to the constructed nature of our identities. Continuing this line of critique, artists of the current generation are frequently representing an idea of identity that is not only constructed, but that is unstable, mutable and inconsistent. In the twenty-first century, social media, surveillance, reality TV and digital technologies are having a dramatic effect on the idea and representation of selfhood, collapsing the distinction between the public and the private, the real and the fictional. The idea of the body augmented by technology, and an understanding of identity that is visibly mapped by networks of social relationships, aligned to brands, expressed through lifestyle behaviour and performed for an anonymised all-seeing audience, has become a defining notion of contemporary existence. This is likely to become an increasingly uncontested idea of identity as we progress through the next decade.