MoMA PS1 is one of the most unique exhibition spaces. For those who hate school, it brings back memories of classroom tediousness and for those who love it, it’s reminiscent of the days when children sat on the front steps waiting to be picked up. Going there is always a good adventure, especially when Patti Smith is performing in a stage the size of your living room, reading excerpts from her book “Just Kids” and being the class act she’s always been.
As one of the most important artistic provocateurs of our time, Christoph Schlingensief combined political outrage and satire in his work to depict German modern history in a rather shocking way. Using multimedia tools he was able to convey themes of immigration, authenticity, and religion, causing controversy and upsetting German complacency most of his life. In a never-ending attempt to challenge the status quo, Schlingensief and Patti Smith have collaborated in the past, developing a great friendship that ended too soon due to Schlingensief’s death. His retrospective series at MoMA PS1does not fail to get the audience to think critically about many of today’s socio-political issues, and there is no one better than Patti Smith to open its doors to the public.
Emphasizing the importance of cherishing life and creativity, Patti Smith celebrated Schlingensief’s art and friendship with a private concert at the MoMA PS1 Dome. Although the opening coincided with the date of Robert Mapplethorpe’s death, Smith was in good spirits, contributing to the celebrative yet nostalgic tone of the show. An attentive, reverent crowd listened carefully to Smith’s reading of her goodbye letter to Mapplethorpe, followed by an account of what life was like when both of these legends were part of her life.
For those who missed the opening, no need to fret; Smith is performing again at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, and the exhibit will be showing at PS1 through May 25th.