Lynda Benglis (b. 1941)
Document (1972)
With Benglis standing in front of a photograph of herself, which is then affixed to a monitor bearing her image, the notion of "original" is complicated—making the viewer acutely aware of the layers of self-images and layers of "self" that are simultaneously presented. Like Martha Rosler's Vital Statistics of a Citizen, Simply Obtained, Benglis presents the viewer with a "document" of questionable veracity. It is a document attesting not to the "real" Benglis, but to the impossibility of discerning one real identity. Through this exercise, Benglis draws attention to the nature of video as a medium based upon mechanical reproduction—putting it at odds with the whole notion of the "authentic" in art.