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Announcement
October 1, 2016

Patti Smith: Root Connection: 20 Years of The Patti Smith Collection and Shinichi Iova-Koga: The 96th Ritual (for Anna Halprin)

Mills College Art Museum
Left: Patti Smith, ca. 1970. Color photograph. Courtesy of The Patti Smith Collection, F.W. Olin Library, Mills College. Photo: Linda Smith Bianucci. Right: inkBoat, 95 Rituals, 2015. Photo: Pak Han.

Root Connection: 20 Years of the Patti Smith Collection features rare and unique materials—many never exhibited in public—from the Special Collections of the Mills F.W. Olin Library. Photographs (both of and by Smith), publications, recordings, and ephemera are showcased together to highlight the breadth of Smith’s artistic experimentation across disciplines including (and not limited to) poetry, music, and photography.

Co-curated by Mills College Art Museum Director, Dr. Stephanie Hanor, Library Director and Special Collections Curator, Janice Braun, and Smith donor and collector, Robert Byler, this two-location exhibition presents an unusual and intimate examination of Smith’s work from multiple perspectives, demonstrating the artist’s on-going innovativeness and influence.

A screening room hosts short films in which Smith introduces the places, people, and cultural moments that inspire and inform her practice, such as French writer Jean Genet, filmmaker Robert Frank, and the punk eclecticism of 1970s New York’s “Downtown Scene.” The exhibition will also include listening stations rotating Smith’s music and readings; album art; broadsides and concert announcements; personal effects (yearbooks and a prom photo!); and international versions and various types of releases of her published works.

Featuring photography, video, scores, and installation, The 96th Ritual (for Anna Halprin) documents the performance project 95 Rituals, directed by Shinichi Iova-Koga, performed by physical theatre company inkBoat, and presented by Dancers’ Group in 2015. Dedicated to post modern dance pioneer Anna Halprin’s 95th birthday, 95 Rituals culminated in performances at the Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco.

Anna Halprin is a visionary Bay Area artist whose work, over the course of seven decades, has radically expanded the purpose, process, and content of dance-making. To inform their process, Iova-Koga and inkBoat researched Halprin’s intentions and working methods, which emphasize the natural structure of the body as the basis for movement, participant inclusivity and a transparent working process to guide the performance.

The original 95 Rituals was structured around 95 different scores developed from contributions by a wide range of visual and performing artists. Each contributing artist was given a template based on the RSVP Cycle—a system of art creation developed by Halprin and her late husband, Lawrence, in which collaborators gather resource material, develop a score or set of instructions, evaluate the work and perform. 95 Rituals culminated in explicitly experimental performances that dissolved the hard line between performance and process.

inkBoat is a physical theatre and dance company founded by Shinichi Iova-Koga in 1998. The company performs in theaters and site-specific locations. Repertory and research integrate the interplay of multiple artistic disciplines and viewpoints—both experimental and traditional—resulting in original performance compositions. Shinichi Iova-Koga has co-directed works with Anna Halprin, Ko Murobushi, Sten Rudstrøm, Takuya Ishide and KT Nelson (ODC) and has co-created performances with music groups Rova Saxophone Quartet and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Iova-Koga credits his mentors Anna Halprin, Ruth Zaporah, Masyuki Koga, Ralph Lemon, Yumiko Yoshioka, Hiroko Tamano and Yukihiro Goto for instilling in him a reverence for irreverence. He has been teaching dance composition at Mills College since 2009.

Root Connection exhibition is supported by the Joan Danforth Art Museum Endowment.

The 96th Ritual exhibition is supported by the Agnes Cowles Bourne Fund for Special Exhibitions.

 

About the Mills College Art Museum (MCAM)
Founded in 1925, The Mills College Art Museum is a forum for exploring art and ideas and a laboratory for contemporary art practices. Through innovative exhibitions, programs, and collections, the museum engages and inspires the intellectual and creative life of the Mills community as well as the diverse audiences of the Bay Area and beyond.

Media contact
Jayna Swartzman-Brosky, T 510 430 3340, [email protected]

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