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Laurie Anderson! Her First Film in 30 Years *Venice, Italy, Toronto ( #TIFF)+ Live In Concert & Installation HABEAS CORPUS NYC October 2015

We LOVE and revere Laurie and her pioneering artistry and pure sonic brilliance, her Zen heart and progressive mind. She deals with her life and she deals with her Art.

A MAJOR highlight of the Official Competition of the VENICE FILM FESTIVAL as well as the special Events of the TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL and TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL in September and, later, the 53rd New York Film Festival showcases renowned artist Laurie Anderson (this year’s NYFF poster designer!) who will premiere her first feature in 30 years, a personal essay entitled Heart of a Dog. Anderson’s response to a commission from Arte, the film is a work of braided joy and heartbreak and remembering and forgetting, at the heart of which is a lament for her late beloved piano-playing and finger-painting dog Lolabelle.


Heart of a Dog
Laurie Anderson, USA/France, 2015, DCP, 75m
In Laurie Anderson’s plainspoken all-American observational-autobiographical art, voices and harmonies and rhythms and images are juxtaposed and layered, metaphors are generated, and the mind of the viewer/listener is sent spinning into the stratosphere. It’s been nine years since her last film and almost 30 since her last feature. Heart of a Dog is her response to a commission from Arte, a work of braided joy and heartbreak and remembering and forgetting, at the heart of which is a lament for her late beloved piano-playing and finger-painting dog Lolabelle. Life in the neighborhood—downtown New York after 9/11… the archiving of surveillance records in ziggurat-like structures… Lolabelle’s passage through the bardo… recollections of deaths and near-deaths, terrors personal and global, sad goodbyes and funny ones, dreams and imagined flights… acceptance: Heart of a Dog is as immediate as a paragraph by Kerouac, as disarmingly playful as a Cole Porter melody, as rhapsodically composed as a poem by Whitman, and a thing of rare beauty.


Heart of a Dog

Directed by Laurie Anderson
Created by
USA | 75 minutes | Canadian Premiere
Artist: | Canadian Premiere
Thom Powers puts it most eloquently for the Toronto International Film Festival:
Renowned multidisciplinary artist Laurie Anderson returns with this lyrical and powerfully personal essay film that reflects on the deaths of her husband Lou Reed, her mother, her beloved dog, and such diverse subjects as family memories, surveillance, and Buddhist teachings.

Laurie Anderson’s eclectic career spans music, drawing, storytelling, performance, and more. She had a surprise hit with her 1981 song “O Superman,” was NASA’s first artist in residence, and toured internationally with her political performance-art piece Homeland. Her new feature film, Heart of a Dog, combines her multiple talents in a personal film essay.

The dog of the title is her beloved rat terrier Lolabelle, who passed away in 2011 during a succession of family deaths that also included Anderson’s mother, Mary Louise, and husband, Lou Reed. Anderson’s close bond with Lolabelle underlies the film’s stream of consciousness, which flows through subjects as diverse as family memories, surveillance, and Buddhist teachings. She lingers particularly over the concept of the bardo, described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead as the forty-nine-day period between death and rebirth. Overlaying the film’s tapestry of images — which include Anderson’s animation, 8mm home-movie footage, and lots of lovingly photographed dogs — is her melodic narration, full of warmth, humour, and insight.

Anderson’s approach has a kinship with that of filmmaker Chris Marker (Sans Soleil), with a similar flair for connecting disparate themes and images. She quotes from other writers and artists, including Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, Gordon Matta-Clark, and David Foster Wallace, whose line “every love story is a ghost story” resonates strongly in this work. If those references sound philosophical, so is this film. But it’s also dreamy, comic, and intensely emotional. Like Anderson, it defies easy categorization.

And back in NYC in October, Laurie unveils her latest work : Habeas Corpus

Laurie Anderson

“Anderson continues to imbue her work with a singular
perspective that is both haunting and timeless.”

The New Yorker

Iconic performance artist Laurie Anderson expands upon her work with storytelling and technology in her latest artwork, creating a site-specific environment that uses telepresence to examine memory, monuments, and prohibited space.

Open to the public during the day, the installation serves as a meditation on time, identity, surveillance, and freedom. The evocative setting is also activated at night with a celebratory performance and dance party with Syrian singer Omar Souleyman, including a new sonic composition created by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs with Anderson. The result is a groundbreaking new work that spans the worlds of visual art, performance, and experimental music as created by one of America’s most renowned and daring artistic pioneers.

Park Avenue Armory premieres a penetrating new work this fall developed by Laurie Anderson in collaboration with Mohammed el Gharani, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee. HABEAS CORPUS, commissioned by the Armory, expands on Anderson’s fusing of storytelling and technology, creating an installation and performance piece that examines lost identity, memory, and the resiliency of the human body and spirit. The work premieres for three days and nights, October 2-4, 2015.

“Laurie Anderson is continually pushing the art of storytelling forward in deeply moving ways both in the thought-provoking content of her work and by transcending traditional artistic practice,” said Rebecca Robertson, President and Executive Producer of Park Avenue Armory.

“HABEAS CORPUS harnesses the dramatic expanse of our drill hall and the intimacy of our period rooms to engulf audiences in a gripping story told through the interweaving of film, sculpture, music, and video.”
“HABEAS CORPUS is Laurie Anderson at her most thought-provoking and soul searching,” said Alex Poots, Artistic Director of Park Avenue Armory.” Her new art work, part multi-media, part storytelling, goes to the heart of the matter.”

In this latest work, Anderson explores the widely reported story of el Gharani. One of the youngest detainees at Guantanamo, he was held at the prison camp for seven years. In 2009, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled he’d been held without sufficient evidence and ordered his release. As all ex-detainees from Guantanamo Bay are currently barred from entering the United States, el Gharani appears as part of this installation live from West Africa, beamed into the Armory drill hall via advanced streaming techniques and three dimensional imaging. It will be the first real-time meeting between a former detainee and American audiences.

HABEAS CORPUS encourages visitors to use the drill hall as place to meditate on time, identity, surveillance, and freedom. The evocative environment within the drill hall includes an original, immersive soundscape. The work, designed by Lou Reed, unites guitars and amps in feedback mode to create colliding and cascading harmonies and will be mixed with sounds derived from audio surveillance and nature. The space will also be activated by improvised music performances throughout the day.

Historic period rooms adjacent to the drill hall will also be activated. A film in which el Gharani talks with humor and insight about his relationships with fellow inmates, interrogators, and guards at Guantanamo Bay will be featured in the Board of Officers Room. Anderson’s short film installation From the Air, which explores the impact of global events on daily life and resonates with many of the themes explored in el Gharani’s story, will be presented in the Colonel’s Room.

Each evening, the installation transforms into a culminating celebratory concert and dance party. Renowned Syrian singer Omar Souleyman headlines with performances of his own music. Anderson, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily will perform a new work, along with Stewart Hurwood performing Lou Reed’s guitar feedback works.

HABEAS CORPUS builds upon many of the themes and artistic techniques employed in Anderson’s previous and upcoming works—including the 1998 installation at the Prada Foundation, Dal Vivo, in which an inmate’s story was told via a kind of virtual escape. Her recent feature film, Heart of a Dog, reflects on themes of loss and language, and will be released nationally this fall.

The Armory’s 2015 season encompasses site-specific installations, commissions, and cross-disciplinary collaborations across a range of art forms. Through September21, the Armory is presenting the U.S. premiere of a major new contemporary dance Tree of Codes—collaboratively imagined by choreographer Wayne McGregor, visual artist Olafur Eliasson, and producer/composer Jamie xx. In December, the Armory will feature an immersive reinvention of the concert-going experience with Goldberg, J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations performed by pianist Igor Levit and staged by performance artist Marina Abramović.

Artist: Laurie Anderson

Commissioned by Park Avenue Armory

Photo: Tatijana Shoan


October 2–4, 2015


Buy Tickets

Friday–Sunday: 12:00pm–7:00pm
Tickets $15, free for Armory members and ticket holders of that evening’s performance


Buy Tickets

Friday–Sunday at 8:00pm
Tickets: $45, includes access to the installation

Please note that this event is general admission, and audience members will be standing for the entire length of the show. The installation reopens to ticket holders at 7:30pm.

Other ways to buy:
Phone M-F 10am – 6pm (212) 933-5812

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2015 Season Sponsors:




August 31, 2015 - Posted by | ART, BUSINESS, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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