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At the tail-end of an international concert tour, Laurie Anderson was already anticipating what awaits for her workwise once the final bow has been taken. Before Tuesday’s Pratt Legends dinner, the multi-dimensional artist chatted about her many pursuits, a lifetime of art and how she hasn’t lost sight of her demonstrative younger self.
WWD: Does it seem premature to be getting a Legends award?
Laurie Anderson: I feel 150 years old. I was at Occupy Wall Street earlier today and that was like my childhood, my revolution and here it is again and that is actually really great to see. That’s not actually why I feel 150 years old. That makes me feel happy and hopeful.
This story first appeared in the November 3, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WWD: Have you been spending much time at Zuccotti Park?
L.A.: I drop by once a week at least. I haven’t camped out there. I’ve been on tour. I haven’t been able to go as much as I would like. It is so inspiring, it really is.
WWD: What do you find so inspiring about it?
L.A.: The cooperative way that people are working together. I think it’s really important that we shift from being competitive to cooperative. And they’re doing that, and that’s really amazing.
WWD: Did you and your brothers and sisters really wear uniforms as children? If so, how did that have any bearing on how you looked at fashion later in life?
L.A.: Yes, all eight of us wore “uniforms” — red sweaters and navy pants and skirts. But only for special occasions and not in summer. And, yes, I notice I have a lot of red sweaters and navy whatevers.
WWD: What are some of your new projects?
L.A.: I am writing a quartet for Kronos, I’m finishing a book of stories, I’m working on some new paintings and I have a new show of my paintings in Philadelphia. That’s my new hobby. It’s “Forty-Nine Days in the Bardo” at The Fabric Workshop and Museum. It’s there until the 19th of November. The stories are all from a long, legendary career.
WWD: What have you seen recently that has really seized you artistically?
L.A.: A [Alejandro] Jodorowsky film I saw last night — “Holy Mountain.” He was there last night at the Modern [Museum of Art] That was unbelievable, kind of completely mad. And then he told us how to live.
WWD: What was his advice?
L.A.: Aside from tarot cards, which I’m not so hot on, he was saying a little variation of what I was saying before. He was saying we can’t go on like this. He said, “I’m not an artist anymore. I really want to work in a more collective sense and if we keep being competitive, we will kill ourselves.” He was very clear about that. He was very sweet and very funny so it was kind of compelling.