New York

Laurie Anderson

Brooklyn Academy Of Music

One could claim that Laurie Anderson is a second-generation, card-carrying conceptualist by simply sketching the outline of her United States Parts I–IV, a six-hour anthology of 78 performance bits from her last seven years of performing. “Numbers count,” this double-talking allusionist might say, and in this epic case they add up to both more and less than their large sums.

Since her first significant performance, As: If, 1974, Anderson’s work has been remarkably consistent. Like all major artists she repeatedly, obsessively treats a handful of themes: technology, urban daily life, alienation, apocalypse, dogs, foreign places, politics. Her style seems to have been set early; in United States it is refined and blown up to epic proportions rather than developed. Telling autobiographical anecdotes and reciting aphoristic wordplay in her flat, evenly modulated voice, Anderson stands at the

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