press release

Lynn Hershman Leeson, an artist with strong connections to the Bay Area, is recognized for her pioneering contributions to media, performance, photography and film. She will premiere VertiGhost, inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958), key scenes of which were filmed at the Legion of Honor. The multidimensional installation will draw the viewer into an online and offline narrative about the construction of identity and ideas of authenticity. At the core of the project will be a film weaving together stories of two paintings associated with FAMSF: Amedeo Modigliani’s Pierre-Edouard Baranowski (ca. 1918), a painting in FAMSF’s collection once haunted by questions of authenticity (now resolved) and the other; the “Portrait of Carlotta”, a fictional construct and prop in Vertigo, which nonetheless is often believed to be in FAMSF’s collection. Featuring interviews with a conservator, art historian, and a psychologist about the construction of truths in both art and life, Hershman Leeson creates a meditative foil to a reality riddled with fake news. The film will be accompanied by an installation that includes Hershman Leeson’s own (blurred) version of the Carlotta portrait, which, through a Go Pro Camera peeking out from the canvas, will capture the viewer’s movements and edit them in real time into a 3D installation that includes scenes of the film. A live feed of the installation will be broadcasted on the VertiGhost webpage, raising questions around how our digital lives impact and obscure notions of the self.

“It has been a unique and uncanny pleasure to recreate an iconic film concerned with authenticity in the very location of Vertigo, and to learn about the "ghosts" haunting both museums, providing ample material for a project questioning identity and representation, in this era where fiction and reality have become increasingly blurred”, states Lynn Hershman Leeson.