Patti Smith began to take photographs in 1967 for use in collages. In 1995, she returned to
photography: “The immediacy of the process was a relief from the long involved process of
drawing, recording or writing a poem.” Many of her photographs embody significant personal
meaning, others serve as a visual record of her well-travelled life. This exhibition is a rare
collection of her photographic work.
THE CORAL SEA
The Festival presents Patti Smith’s installation The Coral Sea, which includes photographs by
her longtime collaborator and friend, Robert Mapplethorpe. These installation works include
visual records comprising very personal artifacts and objects – offerings from her life.
5 photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe with text by Patti Smith
Film: Jem Cohen
Guitar: Kevin Shields
Production: Stefan Righi
The Coral Sea is on loan from the Fondation Cartier, Paris.
Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs appear courtesy of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York City.
While in Melbourne, Smith will create a place-specific project, Melbourneland, especially for the Festival.
Responding to her surroundings she will create a unique record of Melbourne with an accumulation of
images added to Anna Schwartz Gallery each day.As part of its Patti Smith residency, the Festival presents an exhibition of her photographic work drawn from pieces created between 1967 and 2007, offering audiences a rare opportunity to explore the photography of the punk poetress.
Patti Smith began to take photographs in 1967 for use in collages. In 1995, she returned to photography, using a vintage Polaroid Land 250, and found solace in the creative expression of the artform when she was grief-stricken at the untimely loss of her husband, her brother and some of her dearest friends. "The immediacy of the process was a relief from the long involved process of drawing, recording, or writing a poem."
Many of Smith's photographs, which she refers to as, ‘relics of my life … souvenirs of my wanderings”, embody significant personal meaning: Robert Mapplethorpe's slippers, Virginia Woolf's bed, Hermann Hesse's typewriter and Arthur Rimbaud's utensils. Others serve as a visual record of her well-travelled life.