Laurie Anderson lands in Australia’s Home of the Arts

Brooke Boland

Internationally renowned artist Laurie Anderson will be performing new work this June on the Gold Coast as HOTA’s inaugural artist-in-residence.
Laurie Anderson lands in Australia’s Home of the Arts

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Visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, vocalist, and instrumentalist – Laurie Anderson is a prolific creator whose work crosses different media and art forms. 

Her practice is perhaps best summed up as avant-garde. But everything that Anderson creates comes back to stories and words.

‘I began as a painter and sculptor and for 40 years I have made drawings, music, paintings, installations, film, sculpture, electronic design, software, opera and theatre. At the root of all of these works are stories. They are the engines. Stories and words are what I love most,’ she said.

This June Anderson will arrive on Queensland’s Gold Coast as the first International Artist in Residence at HOTA, Home of the Arts.

‘We are incredibly excited. Laurie Anderson is one of the world’s most celebrated artists who you wouldn’t possibly expect to see making, sharing, and premiering her work on the Gold Coast. It’s a coup and we’re very lucky to have her,’ said Virginia Hyam, Head of Programming at HOTA.

Formerly known as the Arts Centre Gold Coast, the organisation recently rebranded as HOTA, Home of the Arts announcing the new name in February 2018. Along with the change of name came the news of an extensive outdoor program utilising the brand new Outdoor Stage and arts precinct. The International Artist in Residence program builds on these recent changes and aims to bring renowned artists and creators to local audiences while turning the Gold Coast into a cultural tourism destination.

‘We have a whole new outdoor space here and are really looking at growing the capacity and style of artists that we bring to the Gold Coast with the residency program, bringing artists you wouldn’t normally have seen here,’ said Hyam.

‘We’re delighted that our peers value the same approach to bringing contemporary artists to Australia as we do, so it was great that DARK MOFO have extended an invite to Laurie Anderson to be part of their program too.’

The residency will take place from 20-24 June. During her week at HOTA, Anderson will perform five times, starting her HOTA season with a rare double bill – one an Australian premiere, the other a world premiere. For Sol/Stories in the Dark, audiences will hear compositions of sound and stories in complete darkness, a new immersive experience which the artist is currently experimenting with.

View program here

Hyam said the residence is an important part of the new programming ambitions at HOTA, which is about ‘global meeting local’ and is building upon the important groundwork that has been laid down by Bleach Festival, Festival 2018 and local Council initiatives, to turn the Gold Coast into an arts destination where people can see extraordinary new work.

‘We’re already talking to other international artists about future residencies and will keep bringing great minds to this place and to continue to grow the arts out of this space,’ she explained.

‘It’s about talking to local audiences, but it’s also about recognising that great art can be made anywhere, it doesn’t always have to be in the big cities.’ 

Laurie Anderson: International Artist in Residence Program

June 20-21 

SOL/ STORIES IN THE DARK 

This immersive voyage takes listeners on an incredible journey of discovery, guided by stories emerging from total darkness. Playing with memory, time and visualisation, Laurie Anderson’s multichannel soundscapes create and destroy mental movies that explore mystery and adventure in collaboration with the audience. Compositions imagined, and re-imagined – music, sound and stories from the darkness.

June 22

LANGUAGE OF THE FUTURE

Language of the Future is a combination of interactive video, music, and stories. The work explores contemporary issues. Story, song, electronics, and imagery, with the artist’s familiar themes of love, war, communication and history are all interwoven into one performance that Anderson continues to add to and evolve.

June 23 

SONGS FROM THE BARDO 

The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo – or Tibetan Book of the Dead, is an ancient text used to guide the newly departed through states encountered between death and reincarnation; or liberation from the cycle of rebirth. For Songs from the Bardo, international performer and singer Tenzin Choegyal will join Laurie Anderson to present a musical interpretation of the treasured words and images of the ancient Bardo texts.

June 24 

CONCERT FOR DOGS

Previously performed in New York, London and Brighton, Concert for Dogs is composed of melodies, frequencies and riffs especially created to entertain dogs and their accompanying humans. Sound, music and voice combine to elicit moments of wonder and joy. 

As part of this event at the Outdoor Stage there will also be a special screening of Anderson’s 2015 film, Heart of a Dog, inspired by her terrier Lolabelle and dedicated to her late husband Lou Reed.

June 24 

LAURIE ANDERSON IN CONVERSATION: ALL THE THINGS I LOST IN THE FLOOD 

In her final performance as 2018 International Artist in Residence at HOTA, Laurie Anderson engages in conversation about stories and language with local writers and artists, following the publication of her recent book, All The Things I Lost In The Flood, Essays on Pictures, Language and Code.

Visit hota.com.au/laurie-anderson-artist-residence to find out more.

About the author

Brooke Boland is a Melbourne-based freelance writer.

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