In a recent Q&A with Women’s Wear Daily, musician/artist Laurie Anderson discussed her “new hobby” — painting. Some of her work, melded with drawings, sculptures, and projected images was then exhibited at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, in a show called “Forty-Nine Days in the Bardo.”
The museum describes the show:
“Forty-Nine Days in the Bardo is a new, multimedia body of work by internationally renowned performance artist Laurie Anderson, which makes its debut at The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM). Using the structure of a diary and The Tibetan Book of the Dead—also known as The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo—this exhibition explores the themes of love and death, the many levels of dreaming, and illusion.”
Click through for more info and to watch a sample video from the show.
About the project, Anderson’s herself writes:
“In The Tibetan Book of the Dead, also known as The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo, the bardo is described as the forty-nine day period between death and rebirth. The book is a detailed description of the way the mind dissolves and what the spirit experiences in this transition. In April 2011, Lolabelle, my small rat terrier died after a long illness. For twelve years she had been my constant and faithful companion. Counting the forty-nine days from Lolabelle’s death I realized according to The Tibetan Book of the Dead Lolabelle would be reborn on June 5, my birthday.”
January 2012 Update: Laurie Anderson discusses her fascination with bardos and The Tibetan Book of the Dead, as discussed below, in a new interview with The Believer. Sample quote: “The main thing that attracts me to Buddhism is probably what attracts every artist to being an artist—that it’s a godlike thing. You are the ultimate authority.” Click here to read the interview in full.