For Immediate Release
14 December 2015
Contact: Jodi Joseph
Director of Communications
Laurie Anderson: Heart of a Dog
An intimate meditation on loss and love
NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS — Boundary-breaking 2017 exhibiting artist Laurie Anderson brings her renowned documentary Heart of a Dog — an autobiographical film about love and loss — as the first installation of MASS MoCA’s annual documentary film series, Love is Complicated. Centered on her beloved terrier Lolabelle, Anderson intertwines childhood memories and video diaries into a touching tribute to her longtime companion. The film screens at MASS MoCA on Thursday, January 21, at 7:30pm.
In what The New York Times calls “a dreamy, drifty, and altogether lovely movie,” Anderson weaves together fragments of memory and emotion after the loss of several key figures in her life, including her partner of more than twenty years, Lou Reed; her mother; and Lolabelle. Much of the movie’s footage is shot, narrated, and scored by Anderson, making for an incredibly intimate personal essay. Heart of a Dog is a mixed-media collage comprised of home movies and newsreels, reenactments, and intertitles, gracefully held together by a backbone of Anderson’s original music. The result is a genre-defying voyage, exploring what she describes as “how to feel sad without being sad.”
Rat terrier Lolabelle anchors both the film and Anderson’s musings, appearing frequently in clips of home footage. The film ambles through the complex series of emotions that follow loss, as Anderson’s wry, lyrical narration flows like a stream of consciousness, delving into themes of grief, humanity, and post-9/11 paranoia. When Anderson quotes David Foster Wallace, “every love story is a ghost story,” husband Reed is obliquely referenced, yet his presence is hauntingly felt in both the film’s dedication and soundtrack.
Anderson, whose career spans music, visual art, film, and poetry, has been a preeminent creative force for more than 30 years. Best known for multimedia presentations and exceptional musical prowess, she emerged onto the art scene with avant-garde musical arrangements in the 1960s, before finding mainstream success in the 1980s with pop hits. Anderson has visited MASS MoCA previously in two separate residencies: first in 2004 for her multimedia performance, The End of the Moon, and the second in 2009 as she workshopped her piece, Delusion.
Heart of a Dog screens in MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center on Thursday, January 21, at 7:30pm. Tickets are $5 for students and members, and $9 general admission. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays through spring 2016. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased online at massmoca.org. All events are held rain or shine.
High-resolution images of MASS MoCA’s spring 2016 events are available through this link: bit.ly/1NL6mgv
Love is Complicated: A Documentary Series
Young love; forbidden love; love of country; love of dog — however you look at it, love is never simple. This edition of MASS MoCA’s annual documentary film series explores the many sides of the human heart. The 2016 lineup includes Heart of a Dog, Above and Beyond, Love Marriage in Kabul, and How to Dance in Ohio. These four installments of Love is Complicated screen on January 21, February 11, March 10, and April 21, at 7:30pm, respectively.
About MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative.
MASS MoCA’s galleries are open from 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays through spring 2016. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition reopens April 30, 2016. Gallery admission is $18 for adults, $16 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit massmoca.org.