Patti Smith / Steven Sebring Exhibit Opens at Robert Miller Gallery Tonight in New York City

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Patti Smith's boots from "Objects of Life" exihibit; Credit: Steven SebringIn addition to last week’s documentary film, Patti Smith: Dream of Life, filmmaker Steven Sebring and musician/poet/photographer Patti Smith have also collaborated on a photography exhibit entitled “Objects of Life” opening tonight at the Robert Miller Gallery in New York City. For those of you in New York who may have missed our broadcast last week, the exhibit runs through February 6, 2010 and the film will be shown as part of the exhibit, with an extra segment shot in the gallery.

Additionally, Patti Smith’s new book, Just Kids, a never-before-seen glimpse at her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe during the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the 1960s and ’70s, will launch on January 19, during the run of the show.

There’s a great interview with filmmaker/photographer Steven Sebring at the VMAN blog in which he talks about the exhibit and the difference he experienced in telling stories using still and moving images. Here’s a snippet:

…So those actual pieces that she talks about [in the film], her childhood dress, Robert [Mapplethorpe]‘s urn, little things like that–a tambourine–I felt they had such incredible stories. People that view this stuff in the film, they’re seeing the story, or they’re seeing it visually. For me, I was actually able to touch it, look at it closely, just really get another vibe, where you can see the dust, you can see everything. And you know, what I do is take pictures. And I wanted to do these still lives of them, sort of very Irving Penn, very back-lit, document style. Read more »

Patti and her guitar. Chelsea Hotel, New York, NY. 1996. by POV Docs, on Flickr

Patti and her guitar. Chelsea Hotel, New York, NY. 1996. Credit: Steven Sebring

From the Robert Miller Gallery press release for “Objects of Life”:

Utilizing the themes and sensibilities of Patti Smith: Dream of Life as a point of departure, Objects of Life will include a range of works, some collaborative, some individually executed, in a celebration of the 11 year odyssey that the filming itself was.

The exhibition will comprise five thematically linked, but separate, installations. Envisaged as the exhibition’s core is the installation entitled “Objects of Life”, which includes a suite of 14 significant objects belonging to Smith and Sebring’s monumental photographs of these objects. Among the objects are Smith’s childhood dress, her Land 250 Polaroid camera, and a tambourine made by Robert Mapplethorpe. This installation also includes “Strange Messenger”, Smith’s largest painting to date, and a work that plays a prominent role in “Dream of Life” and will be accompanied here by stills and a looping segment from the film, documenting its painting. This exhibition is the first time the installation is on view in New York.

You can read more about the show in Art Daily and the New York Post (Item #3).

We’re planning to attend tonight’s opening reception, and will post some photos (and hopefully video!) tomorrow on the POV Blog.

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