Stories from the night - mission 04

Kalegin Michail on Unsplash

Kalegin Michail on Unsplash

This little dharma art mission is taking its inspiration from Laurie Anderson, and particularly her film, ‘Heart of a Dog’.

In the interview below she talks about making 'Heart of a dog'. She also muses on all kinds of other topics, such as, the importance of making things as short as possible, how to know when you are finished, about being ‘artist in residence’ at NASA and on the western idea of 'beauty as symmetry' which apparently in the east is seen as ‘idiotic’, I think that is the word she uses!

Laurie Anderson's been a legendary performance artist and musician for more than 40 years, winning endless awards and accolades. Her 4th film, Heart of a Dog, has been Oscar Doc short-listed. She talks to David Poland about her film, her work, and a life as an artist.

Heart of a dog

The film is a meditation on love and loss. It’s a non-linear weaving together of stories, images and dreams. It’s about the stories we tell, about remembering and forgetting, and all the fragments that are left that seem to make up our lives. 

It focusses around three deaths. The death of her rat terrier, Lollabelle (a highly talented dog, who plays the piano and paints). The death of her mother, who she didn’t love. And the death of a Buddhist friend, the Tibetan monks shouting in his ear, ‘YOU ARE DEAD, you see two lights, don’t go to the nearest light…’

The film barely mentions Lou Reed, just as Laurie Anderson doesn’t talk about him in the interview above. They had been together for 20 years when he died in 2013 and the film came out a couple of years later, so I guess, implicitly at least, it is about him.

Acclaimed musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson presents her meditation on love and death as relates to her dog in this playful, lucid and heartbreaking nonfiction feature.

Dharma art mission 04

The mission this week is to watch the film ‘Heart of a Dog’ (you can rent it on iTunes for £3.49 not to be confused with a Russian film of the same name).

Then you can do any of the following -

1.     Draw a picture of a dream you once had.

2.     Record the audio of you telling the story of a dream, take your inspiration from Laurie and    let the telling be slow and spacious.

3.     Do both and put the two together.

4.     Share the finished thing, that would be awesome!