In anticipation of Laurie Anderson: The Weather, scheduled to open at the Hirshhorn in Spring 2021, internationally renowned artist Laurie Anderson recreates her iconic performance Duets on Ice, streamed live online for the first time from the Museum’s outdoor Plaza. Debuted in New York in 1974, the performance comprises the artist wearing skates frozen into blocks of ice and playing her violin in a series of electronic duets until the ice melts and she loses her balance.

Of the work, Anderson was quoted in Rolling Stone saying, “I talked about the parallels between skating and violin playing—blades over a surface—and about balancing, and what it means to play a duet with yourself.”

Duets on Ice was one of Anderson’s earliest performance pieces. She has since been recognized as one of the most innovative performers in the world. Her incorporation of new technologies and pioneering blend of artistic expression and musical composition has set her apart from her contemporaries for decades.

This virtual event is part of #HirshhornInsideOut, the Museum’s initiative to bring art into your home.

This program will be recorded and made available following the event. You will find it on this page and on our YouTube channel.

This program received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.

American Woman's History Initiative Logo


Image: Courtesy PAC Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan. Photo: Mario Tedeschi, 2003