The Locarno Film Festival will celebrate U.S. musician, performance artist and filmmaker Laurie Anderson with its lifetime achievement award dedicated to creative pioneers.
The prominent Swiss fest dedicated to international indie cinema will be feting Anderson with its Vision Award Ticinomoda, and screening her two feature-length films, “Heart of a Dog” (2015) which is dedicated to Lou Reed, and the restored 4K version of “Home of the Brave” (1986).
Anderson will be given the award on Aug. 10 during a ceremony on Locarno’s Piazza Grande that will be followed by an onstage conversation on Aug. 11.
Locarno in a statement praised Anderson as “an artist who has made inventiveness and experimentation the hallmarks of her career,” underlining that she’s been a leading figure in the U.S. avant-garde since the 1970s.
“Anderson has spent five decades exploring the potential of multimedia and innovative technology in the arts, through collaborations with William S. Burroughs, John Cage, Philip Glass, Brian Eno, Wim Wenders, Peter Gabriel, Jean-Michel Jarre and Lou Reed, her late great husband, among many others,” the festival noted.
Born in Glenn Ellyn, Illinois, in 1947, Anderson trained in both music and sculpture and broke out on the American avant-garde scene in the 1970s. Her recording career started getting traction in 1981 with the release of “O Superman,” segued by several other albums such as “Big Science” (1982), “Life on a String” (2001) and “Homeland” (2010).
Her 1986 album “Home of the Brave” is the soundtrack to her feature concert pic by the same title.
In 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA, an experience that culminated in her touring solo performance “The End of the Moon.”
“Heart of a Dog” premiered in 2015 from the Venice Film Festival where it was praised by Variety as “both a demonstration and a critique of the art of storytelling, which is to say the art of making meaning from the random effluvia of daily life, in ways that can both deceive and enlighten.”
In 2018, Anderson and the Kronos Quartet published the album “Landfall,” inspired by Hurricane Sandy, which won a Grammy Award. Her visual art has been exhibited at leading museums around the world.
“Laurie Anderson in Locarno is a dream come true,” said the fest’s artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro, who called her “a many-layered personality whose deep, irrepressible creativity has followed countless groundbreaking trails in music, performance, film, theater, electronics, poetry and all the distinct multitudes of her practice.”
The 75th edition of the Locarno fest will run Aug. 4-14.