Forty-Nine Days in the Bardo
Laurie Anderson worked in residence on Forty-Nine Days in the Bardo, a multimedia installation that was presented at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. Using the structure of a diary and inspired by The Tibetan Book of the Dead, the installation explored the themes of love and death, the many levels of dreaming, and illusion. The work included texts as well as drawings, sculptures, projections, and sound made from materials including mud, foil, iron, chalk, and ashes. According to Anderson, “In The Tibetan Book of the Dead, also known as The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo, the bardo is described as the 49 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 12 years she had been my constant and faithful companion. Counting the 49 days from Lolabelle’s death I realized according to The Tibetan Book of the Dead Lolabelle would be reborn on June 5, my birthday.”
Laurie Anderson, EMPAC’s inaugural distinguished artist-in-residence, presented a series of events focusing on topics unique to her practice as an artist.