Laurie Anderson, Hirshhorn Museum to Present Program Series Inspired by Landmark Exhibition

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The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, will present a selection of free public programs in conjunction with Laurie Anderson: The Weather (on view through July 31), the largest-ever US exhibition of Anderson's artwork. From late February through July, the Hirshhorn will present performances by Anderson, artist talks, and film screenings. Programs will be held at the Hirshhorn, at partnering DC venues, and online. “I’m so happy to be working with the Hirshhorn and grateful to be able to expand the exhibition into music, performance, and events,” she said. “In many ways, my subject has always been America, and it’s been exciting to get a chance to present my stories in the most symbolic center of power: the nation’s capital­—especially in these watershed times."

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The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, will present a selection of free public programs in conjunction with Laurie Anderson: The Weather (on view through July 31), the largest-ever US exhibition of Laurie Anderson's artwork. From late February through July, the Hirshhorn will organize performances by Anderson, artist talks, and film screenings to animate the range of her creative practice. Programs will be held at the Hirshhorn, at partnering Washington venues, and online, offering opportunities for in-person and virtual viewership. 

“I’m so happy to be working with the Hirshhorn and grateful to be able to expand the exhibition into music, performance, and events,” Anderson said. “In many ways, my subject has always been America, and it’s been exciting to get a chance to present my stories in the most symbolic center of power: the nation’s capital­—especially in these watershed times. It’s an honor to work with other artists and institutions and join in the larger conversation about what it means to be a person in our complex and rapidly shifting world.”

See below for information on the upcoming programs. For more information and to RSVP for various events, visit hirshhorn.si.edu.

(Online) On Process with Laurie Anderson
Wednesday, February 23; 6pm ET
Free; registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live

Anderson will join Marina Isgro, the Hirshhorn’s Robert and Arlene Kogod Secretarial Scholar and associate curator of media and performance art, for a conversation about her process and the evolution of some of her largest projects to date, many of them featured in Laurie Anderson: The Weather. By the time an artwork goes on view, it is considered “finished” and ready for the world to see. Yet viewers often do not perceive what the work went through to reach its final state. What was the initial idea? What did the first draft look like? How and why did it evolve into what it looks like now? When is an artwork complete? Does it live up to the artist’s vision? What was it like to produce a major exhibition during a global pandemic? Anderson has a constantly changing relationship with process in its many forms—from drawing sketches of video installations to improvising large-scale wall paintings to generating and editing language with artificial intelligence.

---

(Online) Screening: Laurie Anderson’s “Personal Service Announcements”
From Monday, February 28, 6pm ET, through Sunday, July 31
Free; available on hirshhorn.si.edu

For a limited time only, all six of Laurie Anderson’s Personal Service Announcement (PSA) videos will be available to view on the Hirshhorn website. In 1989, when Anderson released her fourth studio album, Strange Angels, Warner Brothers Records asked her to make a music video. She instead created a series of videos designed to air on commercial music television channels like VH-1 and MTV. These videos are now known as the Personal Service Announcements and, by Anderson's own admission, did not have much to do with the songs on the album. Instead, the PSAs addressed important issues of the time, as Anderson monologues about topics including women’s salaries, military spending, the national debt, and the national anthem.

---

(Online) O Superwomen: Artist Talk with Rada Akbar and Laurie Anderson
Tuesday, March 8; 5pm ET
Free; registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live

Laurie Anderson will join Afghan conceptual artist Rada Akbar on International Women’s Day to discuss their upcoming collaboration, A Fashion Show for Spirits, in addition to exploring issues of women and power, perception and photography in Akbar’s ongoing project Abarzanan, which translates to “Superwomen” in Dari Persian, and Anderson’s Fully Automated Nikon (1973), currently on view in Laurie Anderson: The Weather.

---

(In Person) “I Have Something to Say”: Advocating for Human Rights through Artmaking with Laurie Anderson and Mohammed el Gharani
Wednesday, May 4
Oprah Winfrey Theater, National Museum of African American History and Culture

Anderson and Mohammed el Gharani, who was detained at Guantánamo Bay from 2002 to 2009, will participate in a conversation exploring human rights and incarceration moderated by activist and film producer Kweku Mandela. The pair collaborated on the video installation Habeas Corpus (2015), in which el Gharani, projected on a 14-foot sculpture modeled after the Lincoln Memorial, shares his recollections of Guantánamo and reflections on unlawful imprisonment. “Habeas Corpus” is currently on view in Laurie Anderson: The Weather. The in-person program will be recorded for online broadcast.

---

(Online) Meditation and Mindfulness: Songs from the Bardo
Friday, May 6; noon ET
Free; registration required for Zoom

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, in collaboration with the Hirshhorn Museum and Smithsonian Folkways, will present a 30-minute online sound meditation featuring Buddhist-inspired music by Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal and Jesse Paris Smith from their album Songs from the Bardo (2019). A conversation about the album will follow the meditation practice.

---

(In Person) Laurie Anderson Presents Lou Reed’s Drones
Friday, June 3; 4–7pm ET
Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden

For one time only, Anderson presents a drone-based sonic experience as part of the yearlong celebration of Lou Reed’s 80th birthday. She and special guests will perform live throughout the afternoon alongside an installation of guitars from her late husband’s collection that will be curated by Reed’s former guitar technician Stewart Hurwood. Reed’s instruments are arranged with a group of amplifiers to create an enveloping drone of harmonics that shifts as the sound waves and the audience move through the garden.

---

(In Person) Film Double Feature: Laurie Anderson’s Home of the Brave and Heart of a Dog
Thursday, June 23; 6pm ET
Hirshhorn Museum Ring Auditorium
Free; advance registration required

The Hirshhorn will present a double-feature screening of a newly remastered and never-before-seen version of Anderson's 1986 concert film Home of the Brave at 6pm ET and her 2015 film Heart of the Dog, a personal essay on joy and heartbreak and remembering and forgetting, at the heart of which is a lament for her late beloved dog Lolabelle, at 7:45pm ET. Nonesuch Records released the soundtrack for the latter film.

---

(In Person) Laurie Anderson Presents Quartet for Sol
Saturday, July 23; 5pm ET
Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden

The final performance presented in conjunction with Laurie Anderson: The Weather will take place in the Hirshhorn’s outdoor Sculpture Garden. Anderson will introduce a presentation of Quartet for Sol, a musical tribute she composed based on artist Sol LeWitt’s number series drawings. LeWitt taught Anderson at the School of Visual Arts and remained a mentor throughout her career. Quartet for Sol, composed between 1972 and 1974 and arranged in 2016, will be performed by cellist Rubin Kodheli, with performers to be announced. Kodheli and Anderson will perform a duet to open the event.

featuredimage
Laurie Anderson: Hirshhorn programs by Ron Blunt
  • Friday, February 18, 2022
    Laurie Anderson, Hirshhorn Museum to Present Program Series Inspired by Landmark Exhibition
    Ron Blunt

    The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, will present a selection of free public programs in conjunction with Laurie Anderson: The Weather (on view through July 31), the largest-ever US exhibition of Laurie Anderson's artwork. From late February through July, the Hirshhorn will organize performances by Anderson, artist talks, and film screenings to animate the range of her creative practice. Programs will be held at the Hirshhorn, at partnering Washington venues, and online, offering opportunities for in-person and virtual viewership. 

    “I’m so happy to be working with the Hirshhorn and grateful to be able to expand the exhibition into music, performance, and events,” Anderson said. “In many ways, my subject has always been America, and it’s been exciting to get a chance to present my stories in the most symbolic center of power: the nation’s capital­—especially in these watershed times. It’s an honor to work with other artists and institutions and join in the larger conversation about what it means to be a person in our complex and rapidly shifting world.”

    See below for information on the upcoming programs. For more information and to RSVP for various events, visit hirshhorn.si.edu.

    (Online) On Process with Laurie Anderson
    Wednesday, February 23; 6pm ET
    Free; registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live

    Anderson will join Marina Isgro, the Hirshhorn’s Robert and Arlene Kogod Secretarial Scholar and associate curator of media and performance art, for a conversation about her process and the evolution of some of her largest projects to date, many of them featured in Laurie Anderson: The Weather. By the time an artwork goes on view, it is considered “finished” and ready for the world to see. Yet viewers often do not perceive what the work went through to reach its final state. What was the initial idea? What did the first draft look like? How and why did it evolve into what it looks like now? When is an artwork complete? Does it live up to the artist’s vision? What was it like to produce a major exhibition during a global pandemic? Anderson has a constantly changing relationship with process in its many forms—from drawing sketches of video installations to improvising large-scale wall paintings to generating and editing language with artificial intelligence.

    ---

    (Online) Screening: Laurie Anderson’s “Personal Service Announcements”
    From Monday, February 28, 6pm ET, through Sunday, July 31
    Free; available on hirshhorn.si.edu

    For a limited time only, all six of Laurie Anderson’s Personal Service Announcement (PSA) videos will be available to view on the Hirshhorn website. In 1989, when Anderson released her fourth studio album, Strange Angels, Warner Brothers Records asked her to make a music video. She instead created a series of videos designed to air on commercial music television channels like VH-1 and MTV. These videos are now known as the Personal Service Announcements and, by Anderson's own admission, did not have much to do with the songs on the album. Instead, the PSAs addressed important issues of the time, as Anderson monologues about topics including women’s salaries, military spending, the national debt, and the national anthem.

    ---

    (Online) O Superwomen: Artist Talk with Rada Akbar and Laurie Anderson
    Tuesday, March 8; 5pm ET
    Free; registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live

    Laurie Anderson will join Afghan conceptual artist Rada Akbar on International Women’s Day to discuss their upcoming collaboration, A Fashion Show for Spirits, in addition to exploring issues of women and power, perception and photography in Akbar’s ongoing project Abarzanan, which translates to “Superwomen” in Dari Persian, and Anderson’s Fully Automated Nikon (1973), currently on view in Laurie Anderson: The Weather.

    ---

    (In Person) “I Have Something to Say”: Advocating for Human Rights through Artmaking with Laurie Anderson and Mohammed el Gharani
    Wednesday, May 4
    Oprah Winfrey Theater, National Museum of African American History and Culture

    Anderson and Mohammed el Gharani, who was detained at Guantánamo Bay from 2002 to 2009, will participate in a conversation exploring human rights and incarceration moderated by activist and film producer Kweku Mandela. The pair collaborated on the video installation Habeas Corpus (2015), in which el Gharani, projected on a 14-foot sculpture modeled after the Lincoln Memorial, shares his recollections of Guantánamo and reflections on unlawful imprisonment. “Habeas Corpus” is currently on view in Laurie Anderson: The Weather. The in-person program will be recorded for online broadcast.

    ---

    (Online) Meditation and Mindfulness: Songs from the Bardo
    Friday, May 6; noon ET
    Free; registration required for Zoom

    The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, in collaboration with the Hirshhorn Museum and Smithsonian Folkways, will present a 30-minute online sound meditation featuring Buddhist-inspired music by Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal and Jesse Paris Smith from their album Songs from the Bardo (2019). A conversation about the album will follow the meditation practice.

    ---

    (In Person) Laurie Anderson Presents Lou Reed’s Drones
    Friday, June 3; 4–7pm ET
    Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden

    For one time only, Anderson presents a drone-based sonic experience as part of the yearlong celebration of Lou Reed’s 80th birthday. She and special guests will perform live throughout the afternoon alongside an installation of guitars from her late husband’s collection that will be curated by Reed’s former guitar technician Stewart Hurwood. Reed’s instruments are arranged with a group of amplifiers to create an enveloping drone of harmonics that shifts as the sound waves and the audience move through the garden.

    ---

    (In Person) Film Double Feature: Laurie Anderson’s Home of the Brave and Heart of a Dog
    Thursday, June 23; 6pm ET
    Hirshhorn Museum Ring Auditorium
    Free; advance registration required

    The Hirshhorn will present a double-feature screening of a newly remastered and never-before-seen version of Anderson's 1986 concert film Home of the Brave at 6pm ET and her 2015 film Heart of the Dog, a personal essay on joy and heartbreak and remembering and forgetting, at the heart of which is a lament for her late beloved dog Lolabelle, at 7:45pm ET. Nonesuch Records released the soundtrack for the latter film.

    ---

    (In Person) Laurie Anderson Presents Quartet for Sol
    Saturday, July 23; 5pm ET
    Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden

    The final performance presented in conjunction with Laurie Anderson: The Weather will take place in the Hirshhorn’s outdoor Sculpture Garden. Anderson will introduce a presentation of Quartet for Sol, a musical tribute she composed based on artist Sol LeWitt’s number series drawings. LeWitt taught Anderson at the School of Visual Arts and remained a mentor throughout her career. Quartet for Sol, composed between 1972 and 1974 and arranged in 2016, will be performed by cellist Rubin Kodheli, with performers to be announced. Kodheli and Anderson will perform a duet to open the event.

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