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An Atmospheric River of Wonder in Laurie Anderson’s The Weather

Installation view from “Laurie Anderson: The Weather” at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and The Hirschhorn.

Laurie Anderson is a Renaissance polymath whose staggering breadth of knowledge, insatiable curiosity, technical virtuosity and conceptual rigor form the basis for her superb exhibit at The Hirshhorn. Simply titled (though not so simple) The Weather, it is billed as an immersive multimedia experimental exhibit, but really it is an otherworldly investigation into what it means to be a human in this twenty-first century. Intensely personal as well as political, it is a revelation, encompassing eerie video projections, kinetic talking sculpture, operatic oil paintings, invented conceptual violins, complex installations, multiple soundscapes, and everywhere words static and moving painted on floors and walls surrounding the viewer.

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