Laurie Anderson’s tiny tales

In Stockholm I visited the local contemporary art gallery: Moderna Museet. Lucky for me the feature exhibition was a Laurie Anderson retrospective.

The first room celebrated a tiny “origin story” of Anderson’s grandad with a series of … photographs. He moved (from Sweden to USA) at age eight, started a business at nine and married at 10.

My introduction to Laurie Anderson was the album Strange Angels, played often by my mother in my childhood. It’s only more recently that I realised Anderson is an electronic music pioneer and multidisciplinary artist.

I was fascinated by how she told a tiny little story with each piece or project. This work is simple and relatable – anyone can chuckle or engage with it – but also profound. Observational in an observational comic, Jerry Seinfeld kind of way.

Her photographic series from the 70s are a fun example.

I decided to take pictures of men who made comments as I passed them on the street.

Laurie Anderson, Fully Automated Nikon, 1973

Public sleeping is discouraged, if not illegal

Laurie Anderson, Institutional Dream Series, 1972-1973

There was also virtual reality (To the Moon). I can’t wait to see what artists do with the Apple Vision Pro.