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It is difficult to think of Laurie Anderson, and to resist the temptation of only using superlatives to describe an artistic and creative trajectory that is unique and impregnable. The most interesting aspect of her creativity is that despite being many things at the same time, she has never adhered to the traditional image of any of these. Musician? Sure! And yet totally impregnable, able to convey decades of avantgarde and schools of thought in an impossible single like O Superman that ends up everywhere. A real "mass success".
Instead of withdrawing into her world, Laurie Anderson has always maintained a cultured and open approach to her work. A passionate experimenter, she was able to intuit and divulge. Unmistakable, as a performer and creator, she has always known how to create collaborations with very different artists, in a constant attempt to bring together as many worlds as possible. She is postmodern and very modern, with a spirit that could be defined as Renaissance for how she is able to embrace very distant realities. And then, there’s her extraordinary poetic ability, to grasp details and transform them into authentic points of observation, to rethink what we take for granted.
The choice to invite Laurie Anderson to Locarno, and to award her the Vision Award Ticinomoda, allows us to engage in dialogue with an artist who has always embraced change and questioned technology, using it to release creative energies, always making them available to the largest number of people possible, always maintaining an unmistakable humanist gaze on the world and the living beings that populate it. Over the course of her admirable and amazing career, Laurie Anderson has made records, directed films, danced, and imagined. She’s a visionary, and a generous one. Always working in the service of humanity. Unique and inimitable.
Giona A. Nazzaro