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CONCERT #PATTISMITH ET #JOHNCALE – 23 OCTOBRE 2014
|For a grand celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Fondation Cartier is bringing together Patti Smith and John Cale for the first time in Paris. Both artists have deeply transformed rock ’n’ roll music and have in-dividually played an important role in the Fondation Cartier’s history. This exceptional concert, entitled Reunion, will be a chance for the audience to enjoy an evening of poetry and rock.|
On June 15, 1990, the Fondation Cartier celebrated the opening of an exhibition dedicated to Andy Warhol in the presence of many artists, amongst whom were the four original members of the Velvet Underground. Lou Reed and John Cale went on stage and played Songs for Drella. Joined spontaneously on stage by Maureen Tucker and Sterling Morrisson, this performance marked the first time that the legendary band was reunited after 20 years of separation. A turning point for the Fondation Cartier, the institution thus began a long series of encounters with some of the most inventive contemporary musicians. Mu-sic has since occupied an essential place in its program, especially for Nomadic Nights events – created in 1994 – and exhibitions like Rock ’n’ Roll 39-59 in 2007, which looked back on the genesis of rock ’n’ roll.
In 2008, the Fondation Cartier’s visitors were given the chance to discover Patti Smith’s visual art practice in a solo show that revealed multiple facets: her photographs taken with an old Polaroid Land 250 camera, her films, as well as her particular affinities with important figures of French literature. She then gave a series of unforgettable concerts at the Fondation Cartier. Since then the artist reg-ularly returns to share her music and poetic wanderings for an evening in the intimacy of Jean Nouvel’s building.
For its 30th anniversary, the Fondation Cartier is looking back on these two important moments in its history and bringing together Patti Smith and John Cale for a unique concert. They met to record Smith’s first album Horses, which Cale produced, and it had a decisive influence on the New-York punk scene at the end of the 1970s. Reunion is a chance for the American singer-poet and the Welsh musical explorer to come together with their musicians to offer an unprecedented night full of musical experiments and emotions.
Patti Smith was born in Chicago and grew up in New Jer-sey. A maverick teenager with a passion for Rimbaud, she moved to New York in 1967, where she met Robert Map-plethorpe. In 1969, the pair moved into the Chelsea Hotel and befriended such artists and writers as Sam Shepard, Brice Marden, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. Absorbing herself in performance and poetry, she was in-spired to create a fusion of improvisation, politics and rock ’n’ roll. She released her first single “Hey Joe/Piss Facto-ry” in 1974, and along with the group Television helped create a strong protopunk movement at the legendary CBGB. In 1975, her first album Horses, graced with the iconic portrait by Robert Mapplethorpe, received inter-national recognition, including the Grand Prix du disque Charles Cros (1975).
In 1977, a serious accident forced her into a long con-valescence, during which she immersed herself in poetry and published Babel. The following year, her drawings were shown for the first time in New York at the Robert Miller Gallery. She also released the album Easter, which featured the single “Because the Night,” co-written with Bruce Springsteen.
In 1979, she left New York City and career behind, and moved to Detroit, Michigan to marry musician Fred Sonic Smith from the group MC5. They had two children and recorded Dream of Life, which included the anthem “People Have the Power.” In 1995, after the untimely death of her husband, she returned with her children to New York City and resumed her public life.
In 2005, Patti Smith was awarded the Insignes de Com-mandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic. In 2007, she was inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, the highest accolade awarded to contemporary musicians.
Patti Smith and Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
In 2008, Patti Smith presented Land 250 at the Fonda-tion Cartier: an important solo show bringing together polaroids, drawings and films, and revealing her spiritual and poetic artistic identity. In 2011, she participated in the
Mathematics, A Beautiful Elsewhere exhibition, during which she gave a poetic performance accompanied by David Lynch on the keyboard. The recording of this reading will be broadcasted in The Inhabitants installation, presented at the Fondation Cartier from October 25, 2014 to Febru-ary 22, 2015.
For the Vivid Memories exhibition organized for the 30th anniversary of the Fondation Cartier, Patti Smith per-formed on numerous occasions, spending an evening with Cedric Villani celebrating the bats of the garden and paying tribute on different nights to three artists ‑ suc-cessively filmmaker Artavazd Peleshyan and artists Joan Mitchell and James Lee Byars.
Perhaps best known as co-founder of the Velvet Under-ground with the late Lou Reed, John Cale is one of the most influential artists in rock history. He is also one of the most mercurial, with an enormous body of work as a solo artist, a producer, a band member and leader, and collaborator, that completely defies categorization.
Born in Wales in 1942, Cale was a child prodigy who earned a scholarship to study music in New York with the help of Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein and moved there in 1963. Attracted by the avant-garde, he became part of the early minimalist scene surrounding La Monte Young’s Dream Syndicate, which also includ-ed Tony Conrad, Terry Riley and others. He would soon bring the repetitive drones into his new rock band, the Velvet Underground. Cale brought the most experimen-tal musical elements that fueled the Velvet Underground’s first two records, The Velvet Underground & Nico and White Light / White Heat: the droning viola on “Venus in Furs” and “Heroin,” the pounding piano of “Waiting for the Man,” and white noise organ of “Sister Ray.” He depart-ed the band shortly after the release of White Light / White Heat in 1968.
In 1969, John Cale produced two very different but ul-timately highly influential records: the glacial, Nordic darkness of Nico’s The Marble Index and the grungy punk blueprint of debut from The Stooges. Cale went on to produce many great artists and records over the years – including classics like Patti Smith’s Horses and The Mod-ern Lovers debut.
In 1970, Cale released his first solo recording, Vintage Violence, surprising many of his followers with his more or less traditional but elegant and artful songwriting. His stunning set of orchestrated songs released on Paris 1919 (released in 1973) remains perhaps the most celebrated work of his solo career, along with his mid-1970s trilogy of Fear, Slow Dazzle, and Helen of Troy. He also collaborated with Terry Riley, Brian Eno, Nick Drake, Kevin Ayers and many others during this period.
Cale was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as member of the Velvet Underground in 1996, and appoint-ed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2010. Cale represented Wales at the 2009 Venice Biennale, collabo-rating with artists, filmmakers, and poets, and focusing the artwork on his relationship with his Welsh heritage.
John Cale’s restless and exploratory musical vision con-tinues to burn brightly. His latest release, 2012’s Adventures in Nookie Wood, was heralded as one of the finest releases in an extraordinary musical journey. He’s just completed a first of its kind event with aural and robotic drones and is completing the finishing touches on a new forthcoming album release.
by #Fondation Cartier
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