Musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson has been appointed guest director of the 2016 Brighton festival. She is the eighth such director of the festival, starting with sculptor Anish Kapoor in 2009. Novelist Ali Smith was the guest director in 2015.
In the festival, Anderson will showcase her works at the festival, which this year has as its theme, Home. Commenting on it, Anderson said "I'm so happy to be serving as guest director of Brighton festival in its historic 50th year. Our theme of home and place is especially relevant with so many people in the world on the move now looking, like all of us, for a place we can belong. I've been part of the festival several times and it was exciting to watch the city become the heart of so much art. I'm looking forward to being part of it this year."
Anderson was originally trained as a sculptor but is now a renowned American experimental performance artist, composer and musician who plays violin and keyboards. She also sings in a variety of experimental music and art rock styles, says BBC.
She appeared with Delusion in the 2011 festival and with All The Animals in 2015. In 2015, Anderson made her first feature-length film, Heart Of A Dog. The movie spoke of deaths including that of her husband, Lou Reed. At New York's Times Square, she recently staged a late-night concert for dogs.
Andrew Comben, the Brighton festival's chief executive, said he was thrilled and honoured to pick Anderson. "In our 50th year, it feels right to reflect on the original intentions of the festival which from the start were about celebrating international culture, the new and the avant garde. Laurie Anderson has been experimenting, creating and challenging audiences all over the world for almost as long as Brighton festival has existed – indeed, she's been a part of the festival's journey in past years with some very special commissions and appearances in the city."
The festival's programme is to be announced in February. According to the Guardian, the authorities disclosed that "Tim Crouch and Spymonkey – both from the city – will re-enact every on-stage death from the works of William Shakespeare to mark the 400th anniversary of the bard's death."