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WGBH Media Library and Archives

Confessions of a Chameleon

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Summary
At the onset of the Lynn Hershman's work, she tells the audience that as a child she used fantasy to escape the abusive reality of her home life, inventing elaborate stories. This introduction casts a shadow of doubt over the stories she proceeds to tell, which includes accounts of attending college at the age of 12, working as a call girl, and spending several years in a hospital on the brink of death. The woman describes her practice of taking on, or impersonating, many personalities. The editing technique is one of interruption. Before a story comes to completion, the work will cut to another image of the same woman, in slightly different apparel, telling another story. Often, the same image appears in multiples, or several unique images appear at once. All of the work is shot in varying degrees of close-ups. The narrator continues to confuse the viewer, as at the end of the work when she claims, "I always tell the truth."

This short segment shows Hershman describing the fantasy world she would retreat into during her childhood, and the blurring of the lines between fantasy and reality.
Topics
Childhood
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