2011 marked a watershed in the life of artist and musician Laurie Anderson. Her beloved dog Lolabelle passed away. Not long after that she also lost her mother, to be followed less than two years later by Lou Reed Anderson. Like her multimedia performances, Heart of a Dog is a patchwork of disparate elements, interspersing animations and 8mm home movies with found footage.
In Heart of a Dog, the mourning process is transformed into a film. A constant is Anderson’s voice, which meanders past personal recollections and major topics such as love, life and death. Without sentimentality or woolliness, she relates rituals from The Tibetan Book of the Dead or Wittgenstein’s linguistic philosophy to autobiographical stories and observations on the controlled society that has developed since 9/11. A moving kaleidoscopic film essay, held together by Anderson’s violin compositions and soundscapes.
First shown at HOME in May 2016, this film was featured on our podcast that month. Click below to hear for Andy Willis and Jason Wood’s take on Heart of a Dog (starts at 3mins 55secs in)