Patti Smith: Archaeology of Life

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 by Kostis Kourelis

In addition to the memoir (Just Kids) and the Steven Sebring documentary (Dream of Life), Patti Smith has produced another kind of life narrative, articulated through objects (see earlier posting here). An exhibit, Objects of Life at the Robert Miller Gallery features 14 objects that have been significant to Smith and her collaboration with Sebring. They include Smith’s childhood dress (left), her Land 250 Polaroid camera and a tambourine made by Robert Mapplethorpe. I hope to catch this show on its closing day (Feb. 6, 2010), when F&M takes its Art History majors to New York.

The exhibit is the first of three that will focus on various themes in Smith’s art (see press release). The film Dream of Life shows Smith obsessively engaged with objects. Objects of Life takes the documentary narrative into a different curatorial and archaeological dimension. Unlike traditional archaeological presentation, Sebring/Smith’s 14 objects point to inter-subjectivity possibilities and relate to the curatorial themes that Orhan Pamuk raises in the Museum of Innocence.

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