Artist Profile – Ann Hirsch

Published on 2018-02-17

Artwork featured at the salon: 'Twelve' (2013) Unique Sculpture and iPad Application.

Ann Hirsch (b. 1985) is a video and performance artist examining self-expression amidst shifting attitudes and expectations of femininity online. Hirsch launched her career in 2008 with her video series ‘Scandalishious,’ in which she assumed the role of a fictitious character named Caroline, a SUNY freshman who confides in her viewers about her personal life. The videos, which have collectively amassed over 100,000 views, investigate dynamics of evolving camgirl tropes and public scrutiny. 

Through her work in reality television, Hirsch hs probed issues around broadcasted representations of women. In 2010, she participated in the VH1 competition “Frank the Entertainer in a Basement Affair,” in which fifteen women fight to win over a former reality TV star. Cast as a competitor, Hirsch attempted to break out of the non-sexualized, innocent role the show’s production had contrived for her, in an effort to dismantle the reductive female tropes perpetuated by television. In an interview with e-flux, the artist said of her practice, saying that “if it doesn’t make me feel vulnerable in some way, it doesn’t feel interesting to me.”

In 2013, Hirsch debuted her semi-autobiographical play “Playground,” which explored the relationship between a teenage girl and an adult man who engage with each other in an internet chatroom. Subsequently, she collaborated with designer James LaMarre to produce “Twelve,” an app  (currently banned from the iTunes store) that recreated the AOL chat rooms of Hirsch’s adolescence. Her online exhibition “horny lil feminist” (2014-15), which she describes as a “portrait of being a woman online today,” explores the complexities among conflicting perceptions of feminism as mediated through pornography’s objectification of women. Exploring these themes further, in the online exhibition “Body Anxiety” (2015) Hirsch examined the female body through the lens of the internet. 

Ann’s video work has been exhibited at American Medium in Brooklyn, the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Boston, Smart Object in Los Angeles, and Arcadia Missa in London, among other institutions. She has also participated in group exhibitions at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, Matadero Madrid, and Kimberly Klark Gallery in Queens, to name a few. Hirsch has also performed at JOAN in Los Angeles, the New Museum, and Performa 13. She has also been awarded a WaveFarm New Media Arts Grant and a Rhizome Commission Grant, and has held residencies at LMCC Swing Space, Yaddo,  and the Contemporary Artist’s Center. 

Hirsch received her BFA in Sculpture from the Washington University in St. Louis, and her MFA in Video Art from Syracuse University. 

Artwork courtesy of American Medium.

Artist bio by Arshy Azizi