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!Women Art Revolution


For over forty years, Director Lynn Hershman Leeson has collected hundreds of hours of interviews with visionary artists, historians, curators and critics who shaped the beliefs and values of the Feminist Art Movement and reveal previously undocumented strategies used to politicize female artists and integrate women into art structures.

!WOMEN ART REVOLUTION elaborates the relationship of the Feminist Art Movement to the 1960s anti-war and civil rights movements and explains how historical events, such as the all-male protest exhibition against the invasion of Cambodia, sparked the first of many feminist actions against major cultural institutions. The film details major developments in women’s art of the 1970s, including the first feminist art education programs, political organizations and protests, alternative art spaces such as the A.I.R. Gallery and Franklin Furnace in New York and the Los Angeles Women’s Building, publications such as Chrysalis and Heresies, and landmark exhibitions, performances, and installations of public art that changed the entire direction of art.

New ways of thinking about the complexities of gender, race, class, and sexuality evolved. The Guerrilla Girls emerged as the conscience of the art world and held academic institutions, galleries, and museums accountable for discrimination practices. Over time, the tenacity and courage of these pioneering women artists resulted in what many historians now feel is the most significant art movement of the late 20th century.


Learn more about !WOMEN ART REVOLUTION here: 

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The Filmmakers

Lynn Hershman Leeson Director

Lynn Hershman Leeson pioneered site specific, performance and interactive media. Most recently, she was honored by the Digital Art Museum in Berlin with the d.velop digital art award (d.daa), the most distinguished honor for lifetime achievement in the field of new media. Her other honors include the prestigious Golden Nica Prix Ars Electronica, the ZKM/Seimens Media Arts Award and, as a Sundance Screenwriter Fellow, she was honored with the Flintridge Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts. She has also received The Alfred P. Sloan Film Prize for writing and directing TEKNOLUST, and in 2006, the International Association of Digital Arts award for “innovative storytelling,” Zero One Prize for “Media that Matters” and a Creative Capital Grant for her documentary, !WOMEN ART REVOLUTION. In 2009, she became a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Siggraph. Hershman Leeson wrote, directed and produced the feature films TEKNOLUST, CONCEIVING ADA, and STRANGE CULTURE, in addition to 14 other films and shorts. The films starred Tilda Swinton, were shown at the Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival, and were all internationally distributed.

Her artwork is held in numerous collections, including at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), The National Gallery of Canada, DG Bank (Frankfurt) and The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis). She has published extensively, is the Chair of the Film Department at the San Francisco Art Institute and Emeritus Professor at the University of California. Lynn Hershman is represented by Paule Anglim Gallery in San Francisco and Bitforms Gallery in New York.

Festivals & Awards

Sundance Film Festival 2011


Official Selection

Toronto Film Festival 2010



PASSIONATE, CONTENTIOUS, FUNNY, SINCERE, POLITICALLY ATTUNED! Ms. Hershman Leeson's fighting spirit is contagious.”




A TERRIFIC SAMPLER of underexposed feminist art!”

-New York Magazine

VIBRANT! History in !W.A.R unfolds through an astute mix of interviews with artists, critics and experts on the movement.”

-LA Times

The most comprehensive documentary ever made on the feminist art movement.”

-Bust Magazine


The RAW/WAR project is generated from the idea that history is about access and authorship and that we, as a global digital community, can now all participate in its creation and change the way history itself is constructed. Using new technologies, current and future generations can create their own histories, breaking the cycle of omission and erasure.

RAW/WAR takes the form of an interactive, community-curated archive and an accompanying installation that provide a forum in which users can come together, share their stories and collaboratively contribute to the history of women's art.

The project emerges from the documentary !Women Art Revolution. While the film provides a personal perspective of feminist activism in a national context, RAW/WAR opens up this dialogue to a global audience, connecting women and their histories worldwide.

An ongoing partnership with Stanford University Libraries (SULAIR) houses the !Women Art Revolution Collection in a publicly accessible online archive for study and research. The collection, acquired in 2008, holds the interview footage and transcripts from the film. Because of the retrievability of this information, there are no outtakes, subverting traditional notions of filmmaking. RAW/WAR is about continuing this ongoing lineage into the future and allowing users to add, and ultimately, remix, their own stories.

RAW/WAR is self-curated. This is achieved by rating and meta-rating and is intricately linked to the whole thesis of !WAR: shedding light on who is left out and why.

The RAW/WAR installation is a live participatory environment that allows users to "bring light" to the lost or invisible histories of women in art with virtual flashlight controllers accessing the interactive, community-curated archive.

The RAW/WAR project is a project by Lynn Hershman Leeson, in collaboration with Alexandra Chowaniec, Brian Chirls, Gian Pablo Villamil and Paradiso Projects.

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