Heart of a dog

Inspired by her beloved dog Lolabelle, American artist Laurie Anderson directed “Heart of a Dog”, a documentary exploring love and loss.

Part of the event

Directed by Laurie Anderson, an experimental performance artist, composer and musician based in New York, Heart of a Dog is a documentary that fuses her personal diary and memories to explore life’s big questions on love and loss.

Heart of a Dog sees the artist combining her own collage-style artwork, 8-mm home movies from childhood, and original footage and musical compositions all wrapped together with her confessional and intimate narration. The film is an experimental work that employs a flowing and artful stream of consciousness to contemplate various themes such as the nature of language, NSA surveillance and 9/11.

Using her beloved, piano-playing, rat terrier Lolabelle as an avatar for her views on life's mysteries, Anderson tells various stories and anecdotes about childhood. The artist skilfully weaves these stories into personal sentiments and philosophical insights.

The artist muses on the loss of her mother, her friend and fellow artist Gordon Matta-Clark and her husband Lou Reed. His face surfaces intermittently and fleetingly throughout the film. She also muses on the death of Lolabelle who the artist claims could recognise 500 words, had a French accent, and saw in shades of blue and green until she went blind.

Anderson has been a pioneering figure on the New York art scene since the 1970s and the 1980s. Heart of a Dog is her unexpected return to feature-length filmmaking. Home of the Brave, her first film, wasan American concert film, whichpremiered in 1986. 

*This film will be screened at the Design Indaba FilmFest 2016 in Cape Town as part of the Design Indaba Festival. The FilmFest will take place at the various locations across the country. Watch out for our programme for more information and tickets.

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