Last time I saw Patti Smith live I was 16, on top of a garbage bin above a sea of fairy wings trying to keep my balance while having a head full of acid. It was my first Big Day Out and sadly, I was more excited about the hearing The Prodigy do "Firestarter" than I was about the bedraggled 'legend' singing about cannibals and people power. Teenagers are arseholes. Thankfully I'm now a decade wiser and this time I'm so excited about seeing Patti Smith that it's all I can think about. If you're smart you would have bought tickets to her concerts at the Melbourne International Arts Festival months ago. If you didn't, too late cause all of the ticketed Patti Smith events are sold out (including her performance with Philip Glass and all the screenings of the new documentary Patti Smith: Dream of Life) so I won't say anything more about them. But someone at the festival was nice enough to make sure there's a couple of free Patti events on for the poor and disorganised.
Anna Schwartz Gallery is holding an exhibition of Patti's photographic work from 1967 - 2007. Most of her photos are taken with a Polaroid Land camera and are of Patti's travels and other 'inspirational' stuff like Rimbaud's utensils. Awesome. There's another section too, featuring five Robert Mapplethorpe photos, that's a kinda visual companion to her new spoken word album The Coral Sea. Patti's also producing a new work called Melbourneland, which she'll be adding to every day, documenting her time here in Melbs.
Patti Smith: Photography & Installation
Anna Schwartz Gallery, Flinders Lane, Melbourne city
Thu 9 Oct – Sat 25 Oct
At the Centre of Contemporary Photography is another exhibition of stuff relating to the collaboration between Patti and film-maker Steven Sebring, who directed the Dream of Life doco. As well as photos by Steven and paintings by Patti, there's all sorts of rock n roll treasure like a pair of Patti's black boots and an urn containing Robert Mapplethorpe's ashes.
Objects of Life
Centre of Contemporary Photography, 404 George Street, Fitzroy
Fri 12 Sept – Sat 25 Oct
Then, if you're really keen (as in willing to get up before 10am on a saturday) you can also be an audience member at a thing called The Music Show meets Patti Smith and more!. It's a live broadcast for ABC Radio National and it's first in first served so you really do have to get there early or you won't get it.
The Music Show meets Patti Smith and more!
The Famous Spiegeltent, Arts Centre Forecourt
Sat 11 October, from 9.45am