laurie anderson, storyteller

From a recent interview with Laurie Anderson:

Some of the gender experiments you worked with, like audio drag, are now the stuff of college curricula.

That’s kind of ominous. They’re teaching that stuff? Uh-oh. Those kind of phrases like “gender studies” or “performance art” kind of give me the creeps. For me, it’s not about gender. It’s about telling stories. It doesn’t matter much that I’m a woman telling the story. I did a lot of school and I enjoyed it, but when I’m around there now I just think how glad I am that it’s over. When anything gets institutionalized, the life goes out of it.

It’s a curious interview, in which I discover that Anderson was recently NASA’s artist-in-residence, and that she’s married to Lou Reed (old news for many, I guess, but new news for me). She acts surprised about being taught in academia, which I don’t believe. After all, she’s performed at UC Berkeley, and other campuses, and — she’s now associated w/NASA! But she gets slippery here, eluding any category that one might want to place on her, “performance artist,” “avant-garde” artist, and even “woman” artist. She opts for the more traditional term, “story-teller” instead; she is that. And she’s a trickster, too. A quality I like in an artist.

Thanks to Mike Snider for the link.

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