Archive for the ‘colorado event’ tag
Think of a quote that discusses the relationship between art and life. Have you got one? The one that almost always comes to my mind belongs to Oscar Wilde, the Irish poet, novelist, dramatist and critic — ” Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” Wilde also encouraged our artistic selves in this manner, “one should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” But two quotes which really speak to me about the relationship between art and life belong to Pablo Picasso and John Dewey respectively…
“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
“Art has been the means of keeping alive the sense of purposes that outrun evidence and of meanings that transcend indurated habit.”
If you are looking for an artist whose life is a work of art, whose art cleanses our souls, keeping alive our sense of purpose and meaning, then you don’t need to go much further than Laurie Anderson. As the Rolling Stone puts it,“Laurie Anderson is a singer-songwriter of crushing poignance – a minimalist painter of melancholy moods who addresses universal themes in the vernacular of the commonplace.” Wow. Anderson’s music is evocative and provocative, lyrically seductive in the ways it speaks to your emotions but there is also something deeply physical about her music and I am reminded about how sound is so central to our consciousness, how rhythm and beats imitate the beating of our heart and the movements of our pulse. This is how music, as a form of art and performance, connects human beings with each other.
Laurie Anderson is also a creative pioneer. Visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist, she is known as a visionary in the use of technology in the arts, bringing to the arts to the most unfamiliar (you’d think) of places – NASA (their first and only artist in residence), Applied Minds to create an artwork to be displayed at the Guggenheim in New York this winter, and various prestigious cultural events, composing the music for the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Athens in 2004 and the World Expo in Aichi, Japan in 2005, as well as the acclaimed multimedia project O Zlozony/O Composite for the Paris Opera Ballet.
Anderson’s first performance-art piece was a symphony played on car horns in 1969. She has also played violin while wearing ice skates with blades frozen in ice. Yet many of her early performances and pieces remain on limited release or through private compilations. Moving in a group of some of the most avant-garde performers of the 1970s and 1980s, Anderson continued to build her craft, collaborating on film scores and productions as well as art installations, composing albums and taking singing lessons. In 1991 she appeared in “The Human Face“ a feature arts documentary directed by artist-filmmakers Nichola Bruce and Michael Coulson for BBC TV. Anderson was the presenter in this documentary on the history of the face in art and science. Her face was transformed using latex masks and digital special effects as she introduced ideas about the relationship between physiognomy and perception.
In case that was not enough, Anderson has also complete spoken word albums, audiobooks and written a supplemental article on the cultural character of New York City for the Encyclopædia Britannica and created a number of multimedia presentations, always exploring the effects of technology on human relationships and communication. One of my favorite pieces features Anderson and Lou Reed, entitled ‘Lost art of conversation’, a duet of vocals and guitar. Click here for a glimpse – it is wonderful!
In 2007, Anderson was awarded the 2007 Gish Prize for her “outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to humankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” Art and Life, indeed.
Laurie Anderson will be performing from 7pm on June 6th at the Lincoln Center. Tickets are $20 adults and $15 students/seniors (60+), available from the Lincoln Center Box Office by calling 970-221-6730, visiting them at 417 West Magnolia Street or going online to LCTIX.
See you there!
“I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.”
Confronting your past, and bravely telling your story (no matter how different you may feel) can help you realize that nobody is actually normal! That’s what Jeannette Walls talked about on Monday night at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. Ms. Walls discussed her memoir The Glass Castle, and her nomadic childhood with eccentric parents who often seemed to make abnormal choices about raising their family. Her book describes the sometimes bizarre episodes in her life, but Walls was here to celebrate her survival. She’s not afraid to tell the truth about her life now, although for years she lived in fear that her friends and colleagues would reject her if they learned the details of same life. She spent many years feeling ashamed that her family was not like other families, but now believes that even when people seem to have “perfect lives,” that probably isn’t true. Her advice is that if we set aside the stereotypes that blind us to seeing people as individuals, we will see a world full of people all doing the same thing—doing their magnificent best to survive their circumstances.
Ms. Walls is compelled to read reviews of her book at Amazon.com, since they add to her process of self-discovery through writing and promoting her book. I looked up one entry that she talked about. The comment was made by beckybramer who knew Walls and her family while growing up in West Virginia, and she writes, “As I read, I was filled with sorrow and shame because I was one of those people who didn’t want to have close association with them because they were so different from me. I try to assuage my guilt by telling myself I saw things from a child’s maturity level. I wish I could apologize and find myself wondering what would have happened if I had befriended Jeanette. She could have enriched my li[f]e tremendously.”
This exchange makes me think about how important it is to build personal connections in our own community. To be successful, we have to include as many people as possible in defining who we think we are as a group. Who are we excluding because we believe they are too different to care about? Ms. Walls was not always an eloquent, humorous, and successful journalist, gossip columnist, and writer. She has learned from both sides of the issue, that people who think they are better than others, miss the mark. She successfully argues that one of the most basic things people have in common, is that we all have a story—and most stories have parts we might wish to leave out. Ms. Walls is convinced that if we bother to see the complexities in individual experience, and face the truths of our lives, we raise the odds of experiencing the true joy of living together. In case you’re wondering, after reading the Amazon post, Walls contacted beckybramer–not to accept an apology or express her pain, but to connect with her as a person and share their stories!
Many people in the audience at Lincoln Center, attended the Jeannette Walls event with other members of their book club. So here’s a shout out to all the book clubs that meet in the Fort Collins area—it was great fun to see so many readers out in the open! Whether or not you belong to a book club, you have opportunities to read with others in our community. On November 7-8, T. C. Boyle will be in our town to discuss his novel, Tortilla Curtain. Get your copy soon, so that you can join in this community-wide book club! Since 2002, Fort Collins Reads has encouraged multigenerational residents to read and meet each other. Each year, books are selected to engage both adults and teens, and this year’s readings add to our community discussion on immigration.
So here’s to being together! Remember, the more stories you give away, the more stories you’ll have!
“Things usually work out in the end.”
“What if they don’t?”
“That just means you haven’t come to the end yet.”
— Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle: A Memoir)
Thanks to B a m s h a d for the great reflection photo.