The quintessential Patti Smith discusses Mapplethorpe, her time in Cincinnati and an upcoming Contemporary Arts Center exhibition and concert
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Both Smith and Mapplethorpe found their
place, of course, and became famous — she as a quintessential
alternative-rocker and he as one of the country’s top fine-art photographers.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 17, 2013
In advance of last year’s FotoFocus
festival, probably the largest photography-related event in Cincinnati’s
history, I asked James Crump — the festival’s co-chair and then chief
curator/curator-at-large at Cincinnati Art Museum — if there wasn’t an
unspoken spirit hovering over the proceedings: Robert Mapplethorpe.
by Steven Rosen
Posted In: Visual Art
at 09:39 AM | Permalink
Although the Patti Smith exhibit that will open at downtown’s Contemporary Art Center on May 17 has been announced for some time, the details are only now becoming known. It will be a tribute to her close friend, the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. He is a subject whose resonance is great for both Smith — whose 2010 National Book Award-winning memoir, Just Kids, recounted their friendship as young people in New York’s art world and is being made into a film — and the CAC, which famously faced (and beat) obscenity charges in 1990 for showing the Mapplethorpe retrospective The Perfect Moment.In a phone call from London — where she is studying for a Master’s degree in global art — Adjunct Curator Justine Ludwig (the exhibit’s curator) revealed some details of the planned show. It will be called The Coral Sea, after poetry Smith wrote about Mapplethorpe that she later recorded with guitarist Kevin Shields. (She will be performing The Coral Sea on May 18 at Memorial Hall. Go here for ticket information.)“It’s very much a rumination on the life and death of Robert Mapplethorpe,” Ludwig said of the exhibit. “So there are a lot of objects in the exhibition that very much relate to his life. We’ve received things like Robert’s slippers that have his initials on them, and photographs of Robert from throughout his life. So it really focuses on the relationship between these two artists. “It comprises of installations, photography and writing,” she said. “We’ll be showing part of the original manuscript of The Coral Sea that Patti wrote about Robert. We’re going to see a connection between the two artists throughout the exhibition. She has this very beautiful handwriting that is an art form within itself.“There are medals, necklaces that Robert wore,” Ludwig continued. “There is an inkwell. There are small elements that will be presented in cases in the exhibition. It’s presented very much like an art installation. They’re not necessarily presented as historical objects but as elements that are part of Patti’s life.”There are also photographs Smith took of and about Mapplethorpe. “Patti never took photographs of Robert’s face, she took photographs of his hands,” Ludwig said. “We’ll have a few (of those), and then a few photographic works that are more in reference to Robert but not of him.“And we have an installation within the show called ‘Infirmary,’ which is all steel beds that are references to the beds Robert spent the end of his life in and that many people who died from AIDS passed away in. They are actual steel beds acquired by her.” (Mapplethorpe died from AIDS in 1989.)The “Infirmary” portion is an expanded, site-specific adaptation of an exhibit Smith presented at the 2008 Melbourne International Arts Fair. There is also a “Coral Sea Room” in the CAC show that will feature video and music.The show will have several photographs by Mapplethorpe with text by Smith – of the sea, a boat and a sculpture. (None was in The Perfect Moment.) “They’re very beautiful,” Ludwig said.
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The Contemporary Arts Center is so
excited about a performance piece that musician Jace Clayton will be
doing there in April that it’s bringing him here earlier — Friday — as
an advance introduction to Cincinnati.
Contemporary Arts Center brings Barcelona-based culture fest back to Cincinnati
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Cincinnati will be a hot spot on the
international creative scene March 6 thanks to the Contemporary Arts
Center’s efforts to bring the world-famous creative conference, OFFF,
back to the city for round two (OFFF first made a Cincinnati stop in
by Steven Rosen
Legendary musician/poet/artist schedules May 17 stop in Cincinnati
Contemporary Arts Center has officially announced that Patti Smith will perform The Coral Sea with daughter/pianist Jesse Smith on May 17, in connection with her CAC exhibit, also called The Coral Sea, that opens the next day and features work not previously seen in the U.S. At the concert, Smith will also play selected material from throughout her career. The CAC website says that "The Coral Sea performance work found its beginnings from Smith’s 1997 book of the same name, her requiem to her dear friend Robert Mapplethorpe (who took the cover photo of Smith’s debut album, Horses, among his many other accomplishments). With music arranged and performed live by Kevin Shields — of heralded British shoegaze band My Bloody Valentine — two separate performances were held at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in June 2005 and September 2006. In 2008 those performances were released as a live album." Mapplethorpe's own posthumous photography retrospective at CAC, 1990's The Perfect Moment, became a major controversy when cultural conservatives led by now-retired Sheriff Simon Leis tried to shut it down for obscenity. In a famous trial, a jury sided with the CAC. The concert venue and ticket information will be announced soon at www.contemporaryartscenter.org. I first wrote about Smith's art show coming to the CAC in CityBeat last year here.
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 12, 2012
It’s never too
late in the history of humankind for a new Christmas tradition —
especially if it comes out of the world of edgy, avant-garde
participatory performance art. Edgy, avant-garde and fun participatory performance art, that is.
0 Comments · Tuesday, November 27, 2012
If you drive to Columbus by Dec. 30, you can see a photography show — Annie Leibovitz
— that serves as the culmination to the journey through
celebrity/fashion photography begun by three FotoFocus-related museum
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I hope the inaugural FotoFocus, which has
formally concluded although related exhibits still are up around town,
was successful by the standards of its organizers, and that they are
eager to plan for the next one in 2014.
by Mike Breen
• Dean & Britta (formerly of critically-acclaimed Indie dreamscapers Luna) bring their unique multimedia show, "13 Most Beautiful … Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests," to Over-the-Rhine's revitalized Emery Theatre. The project originated four years again after Dean Wareham received a phone call from a curator (and big Luna fan) at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh asking if he'd be interested in writing some music to go with the stockpile of 500 or so "screen tests" Warhol had accumulated in the ’60s. The clips feature Warhol's video of friends and acquaintances, including many familiar faces from the Factory days. Wareham talked to CityBeat's Brian Baker about the process of writing songs for the 13 "tests" chosen, describing it as being like making a music video in reverse. Read Brian's full feature story here. Tonight's performance — featuring Dean & Britta's quartet performing in front of large projections of the screen tests — is at 8 p.m. Tickets (if it doesn't sell out) are $25 at the door. Here's some of the soundtracked video to get you in the mood. The event is being co-presented by the Contemporary Arts Center, which is currently exhibiting Image Machine: Andy Warhol and Photography. • After a tough previous week when she was stuck in New York City during and after “Frankenstorm” Sandy, tonight at 8 p.m., veteran singer/songwriter Aimee Mann performs in Cincinnati at 20th Century Theatre in Oakley.For 30 years, Mann has built a dedicated core of adoring fans swept away by her smart, clever and emotionally resonate take on Pop music, driven partly by her uniquely inviting vocals (which former CityBeat writer Brad Quinn once brilliantly described as “egg-shaped”). She first came to the attention of the public at large with her group ’Til Tuesday, which received massive support from MTV and radio for the hit “Voices Carry." Mann and some funny pals recently parodied the of-its-era clip in a hilarious video for "Labrador" from her latest album, Charmer.Mann went solo at the start of ’90s, releasing her debut Whatever in 1993 and then capping off the decade with her brilliant songs written for and prominently featured in the film Magnolia. Departing the major label system at the start of the new millennium, Mann founded SuperEgo Records to release her own material, most recently issuing Charmer, another critically acclaimed gem that provides further evidence that Mann is still one of the great, somewhat under-heralded songwriters of her time. Another gifted writer deserving of more attention, Ted Leo (of “and the Pharmacists” fame), opens tonight's show solo. Tickets range from $20-$35. • Blues Rock cult sensation, soulful singer and modern-day geetar hero Joe Bonamassa swings through the Taft Theatre tonight for a 9 p.m. show. Tickets range from $49-$79. Bonamassa is one of the more celebrated guitarists of our time and he's built a rabid following mostly by word of mouth and without the benefit of a big label corporation behind him. Bonamassa's latest album Driving Towards the Daylight was released this spring, but live and in-concert is where he thrives, as evidenced by his discography since 2000 — he's had nine studio albums but also four live albums and three live DVDs. Check the title track from Driving below and read more about the Blues/Rock star from this week's CityBeat here. • Acclaimed for its detailed, theatrical recreations of Pink Floyd concerts, Cleveland's Wish You Were Here is bringing its "Classic Floyd Albums Tour 2012" to Bogart's in Corryville tonight for an all-ages, 8 p.m. performance. Tickets are $12. The "tour" (spread over three months) has featured shows across Ohio where the crew has played the albums Wish You Were Here, The Wall and Animals in full. Tonight, the group is doing Dark Side of the Moon at Bogart's. The band is able to accurately replicate Floyd's intricate sound and concert experience by using a large ensemble of at least nine musicians, plus their own lighting and sound crew. Cincinnati musician Jamie Combs (of 4th Day Echo and various other projects) joined the band in 2006 as guitarist and vocalist. Here's a clip from a 2007 appearance in Cleveland of the band performing "Time/Breath Reprise." Click here for even more live music events in Greater Cincinnati tonight.