Sometimes You Can Be Too Far Out Ahead Of The Culture
Laurie Anderson was one of the most important performance artists of any era since that designation became a recognized thing; for many people hers is the first face that springs to mind when the subject of performance art is discussed.
It is difficult to convey how much she meant to at least two generations for whom her work created a persistent awareness that boundaries were illusory and that “strange” was a conventional way of dismissing the oddly beautiful inflections which caused fright in those unwilling to let themselves embrace the art — and humanity — implicit within them.
Her influence is felt in such a diffuse range of works our culture produces to this day that the original inspiration she provided is probably unrecognizable to those who have never lived in a world where her creations were innovations to the firmament rather than an indisputable part of it.
But she just said this about Hamilton, so she’s probably going to be in a lot of trouble now:
I saw half of Hamilton. I walked. I just, you know, I thought, “It will be an exception, it won’t be like a musical.” I love all music except musicals. They just make me crazy. I just had to leave…. It’s not that different. It’s history lite, and musical lite, and it’s just … It’s horrible. [laughs] Maybe I should be more open-minded. I just hate it.
Farewell, sweet Laurie. We will try to remember the good times, before you were torn apart for heaping opprobrium on the greatest single thing that ever happened in 50,000 years of culture, language or basic human accomplishment. I’m going to go listen to Big Science and cry.