Laurie Anderson Takes Over Guild Hall

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Chalkroom, 2017, room installation for vr work, 27.5 x 40.5 x 11 feet, by Laurie Anderson

Starting Saturday, June 2, Guild Hall will hand over all three of its galleries to avant-garde artist, composer, musician and film director Laurie Anderson for a self-titled exhibition that reflects her many forms of creative expression.

Divided into three components — virtual reality, video performance and drawings — the show will open with a private members reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at the East Hampton museum, located at 158 Main Street, and will remain on view through July 22.

“Anderson’s stage shows display immense talent for combining the spoken word, visuals, music and sound to create an energy-infused experience,” according to a press release. “Whatever the medium Laurie Anderson uses to express herself, she is first and foremost a storyteller, and from painting to monologue, the artist constructs evocative narratives that transport viewers to a visual realm.”

Initially trained in violin and sculpting, Anderson pursued a variety of performance art projects in New York during the 1970s, making particular use of language, technology, imagery and electronic music. Her use of virtual reality takes her storytelling to the next level, creating a total aural and visual atmosphere that enables participants to have the sensation of flying, traveling through solid surfaces, or entering an imaginary space or scenarios.

“Chalkroom,” one of two virtual reality components of the show, will be located in the Woodhouse Gallery, where participants will virtually fly around and through an enormous city-like structure made of words, drawings and stories.

“Once you enter the virtual space, you are free to roam the space where words sail through the air as emails, fall into dust, form and reform,” the release said.

This medium is relatively new for Anderson and, in this particular case, she has collaborated with Hsin-Chien Huang, a new media creator who works in art, design, engineering and digital entertainment.

“Together, they are generating an innovative approach to public engagement,” the release said. “‘Chalkroom’ was the Winner of the Best Virtual Reality Experience at the 74thVenice International Film Festival.”

A second virtual reality work on view, “Aloft,” gives the participant the sensation of being in an airplane that comes apart, suspended in air and floating with all of the plane components before entering a blue abyss.

Ten large-scale drawings from Anderson’s “Lolabelle in the Bardo” series — inspired by the death of her dog Lolabelle in 2011 — will be on view in the Moran Gallery, and the Spiga Gallery will feature videos of her performances playing continuously throughout the run of the exhibition.

Anderson will present a reading and performance, “All The Things I Lost in the Flood,” on Saturday, July 14, at 8 p.m. in the John Drew Theater. Tickets range from $45 to $100, or $43 to $95 for members. For more information, please call (631) 324-0806 or visit guildhall.org.

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