Tate Modern Film

Laurie Anderson: Heart of a Dog

A white dog with black spots plays the piano with one paw.

Laurie AndersonHeart of a Dog 2015film still

©Canal Street Communications, Inc

A cinematic journey through love, death and language, Heart of a Dog 2015 is a collage-like distillation of the raw materials of Laurie Anderson’s life and art. 

Centred on the artist’s beloved rat terrier Lolabelle, who died in 2011, Heart of a Dog is a very personal look at loss. Anderson's first feature since the 1986 concert movie Home of the Brave, the film presents a new approach to the key themes and signatures of her work: multimedia elements, a fascination with language and a deep engagement with technology.

Structured into a hypnotic visual essay, the film fuses Anderson's own witty narration, original violin compositions and hand-drawn animations with a wide array of materials, including 8mm home movies from her childhood, video diaries and artwork culled from exhibitions past and present.

Heartfelt tributes to the artists, writers, musicians and thinkers who have been inspirational to Anderson run through the work as she muses on contemporary culture and the afterlife. At its core, Heart of a Dog considers how stories are constructed and told, and how they help us to make sense of our lives.

Heart of a Dog, USA 2015, DCP, colour, sound, 75 min

A conversation with the artist follows the screening.

Watch the trailer


About Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson (born 1947, United States) is an artist, composer, musician and writer best known for her multimedia presentations and innovative use of technology. Recognised worldwide as a pioneer of experimental sound and performance, her groundbreaking works span the worlds of art, theatre and music.

In 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA, out of which she developed her solo performance The End of the Moon 2004. Her instruments as well as her installation, audio and video works have been presented in major museums throughout the United States and Europe, including a touring retrospective produced by the Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon in 2003.

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
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Date & Time

22 April 2016 at 20.00–22.00