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Patti Smith on Film and in Conversation at Block Museum

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January 23, 2009 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Legendary musician, poet, artist and activist Patti Smith will talk about a new documentary about her life and work during a guest appearance Friday, Jan. 30, at Northwestern University's Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art on the Evanston campus.

Smith and Steven Sebring, director of the 2008 film "Patti Smith: Dream of Life," will participate in a discussion moderated by Chicago Sun-Times pop music critic Jim DeRogatis following the 8 p.m. screening of the 109-minute film at the museum's Block Cinema. The ticketed event is open to the public.

A limited number of tickets for the film screening and conversation go on sale at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at the box office in Northwestern's Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston, and online at www.nbo.northwestern.edu. Tickets are $11 for the general public; $8 for Northwestern students, faculty and staff. Tickets are limited to two per person. Registration at http://www.nbo.northwestern.edu is required before purchasing tickets online. Tickets purchased online can only be claimed at the Block Museum, 40 Arts Circle Drive, beginning at 7 p.m. the night of the event. Seating is general admission and will begin at 7:30 p.m.

A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Smith is considered a poet whose energy and vision found its voice in music. As one of the early pioneers of New York's dynamic punk scene, she has been creating her unique blend of poetic rock 'n' roll for more than 35 years. She is a published author and her artwork and photographs have been displayed in galleries and museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Pompidou Center in Paris and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pa.

"Patti Smith: Dream of Life" is the full-length feature directorial debut by artist and photographer Steven Sebring, who met Smith through shooting celebrity and artist portraitures. Sebring was so inspired after seeing Smith perform live that he convinced her to allow him to film her, an 11-year project that culminated with the film "Dream of Life." The film debuted last year at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Cinematography Award and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.

Jim DeRogatis is the pop music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and co-host of "Sound Opinions," a national rock 'n' roll talk show produced by Chicago Public Radio and syndicated by American Public Media. He is the author of several books and has written for numerous magazines.

This event is part of the Block Museum's Three American Photographers: In-Depth series, sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art and Northwestern's Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities. It coincides with the Block Museum's exhibition of "Polaroids: Mapplethorpe" (on view in the Block Museum's Alsdorf Gallery through April 5), which features instant photographs taken in the 1970s by Robert Mapplethorpe, the late photographer and friend of Patti Smith. "Polaroids: Mapplethorpe" is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York.

Block Cinema, a collaboration of the Northwestern University School of Communication and the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, screens classic and contemporary films. Block Cinema is dedicated to providing the Northwestern campus, the North Shore and the Chicago area with a quality venue for repertory cinema.

The Norris Box Office is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. Block Museum members, Block Cinema quarter pass holders, and seniors age 65 and older may purchase $8 tickets at the Norris Box Office only.

More information, including directions and parking information, can be found at www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.