Brooklyn Public Library for Lou Reed Tai Chi Day – ARTnews.com
COURTESY BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY
This August, the Brooklyn Public Library will host the first edition of a new annual event: International Lou Reed Tai Chi Day, presented in collaboration with the late musician’s widow, artist Laurie Anderson. The library will display Reed’s personal collection of tai chi literature, weapons, and other paraphernalia in an exhibition of items that Anderson handpicked starting July 29th. A tai chi demonstration, led by Reeds and Anderson’s teacher, Master Ren Guang Yi, will take place on August 3rd in Brooklyn at Prospect Park Bandshell.
Reed was a vocal advocate of the ancient Chinese martial art, which he practiced for more than three decades. During 12 of those years he studied with Master Ren, whose demonstration will be open to students of all skill levels. Ren’s demonstration focuses on the Chen family style, the oldest of the five forms of Tai Chi, and is set against a haunting soundwork with Reed’s guitar feedback entitled DRONES. The event will be followed by a screening of the Ang Lee film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), which focuses on martial arts choreography.
The day will also include several other demonstrations, lectures, and meditations in the library. Simultaneous celebrations are planned for Berlin, Warsaw, San Francisco and Washington DC
If you can’t make it to the Brooklyn event or the celebrations in other cities, you can at least enjoy some color footage from a 1969 Velvet Underground performance at a just-released war protest. In it, Reed plays “I am waiting for the man”, “I am beginning to see the light” and “I am released”.