Letter Exchange with JFK
“Dear Senator Kennedy. I really admire the way you’re running your campaign. I’m running for president of my student council, can you send me some tips?” Find out what the soon-to-be president John F. Kennedy replied to a young Laurie Anderson’s letter.
Acclaimed musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson was “just a young twerp” running for student council when she was advised by Senator Kennedy to “find out what the people want and promise it.” In this video she discusses her relationship to the late president, his politics and views on poetry and art: that poetry is the soul of the country and art is what makes us who we are. Neither before nor since, says Anderson, has an American president recognized poetry or art as the engine of society.
Anderson’s exchange with JFK became integral to her on-going multimedia work ‘The Language of the Future’, an exploration of the artist’s memories of Jack Kennedy and the American narrative. The latest chapter, entitled ’Letters to Jack’, was presented at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington on the occasion of the forthcoming 100th birthday of President Kennedy.
Laurie Anderson (b. 1947) is an internationally renowned experimental performance artist, composer, musician and film director, based in New York. Initially trained as a sculptor, Anderson became widely known outside the art world with her single ‘O Superman’, which reached number two in the UK pop charts in 1981. She is considered a pioneer of electronic music and is praised for her unique spoken word albums and multimedia art pieces. Among her most recent work is the film ‘Heart of a Dog’ (2015). For more about Anderson see: www.laurieanderson.com/
Laurie Anderson was interviewed by Christian Lund at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark in May 2016.
Camera: Rasmus Quistgaard
Edited by: Klaus Elmer Madsen
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art