No borders on the planet are more rigid, more vacuum sealed than those around the rectangular screen. The females who clutter videos and films are airheads, baby dolls, bimbos, bitches, earth mothers, martyrs, madonnas, material girls, morons, shtickmeisterin, shrews, witches, wiseacres, whores, welfare queens, and n-factorial recombinations of those dreary roles. Any and all of them are interesting, apparently, only insofar as they relate to men - bearing and rearing men, loving them, helping or impeding them, above all sacrificing for them, and meanwhile laughing, crying, singing, and dancing about it.
Let a mature woman, reasonably serene in her person, relatively confident in her tastes - in any case self-sufficient - concerned about public issues and knotty puzzles of human existence, let such a woman penetrate those borders and she'd be unlikely to find any company.
So how is it that Laurie Anderson, nobody's mom or sweetheart, nobody's victim, nobody's predator - indeed, a disquieting undocumented alien among all those cliches - has broken through and made some of the most interesting art of the late 20th century within those borders, earning as she goes a reputation as one of the world's premiere performance artists? Her complex and multifaceted art crosses and mixes genres with witty grace (she is musician, singer, dancer, sculptor, poet, photographer, technology-freak) and renders these persistent subjects: her country - the United States - and what it means to be an American adult today.
For more than twenty years, Laurie Anderson has taken her art around the world. On stage, on records, CDs, videos, and in books, she has amused, provoked, charmed, and sometimes puzzled her viewers with an ensemble of the latest electronic instruments, effects, gadgets, and paraphernalia. Yet none of her work appears strained or studied, no razzle-dazzle for razzle-dazzle's sake; all of it serves to show and tell stories that we instantly recognize, though we hadn't seen it quite that way before.
Entrevista completa en la revista Wired
With a new book, new show, and new album, Laurie Anderson reinvents herself - again.
By Pamela McCorduck