Purple Art

[April 9 2024]

EVIDENCE: Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith, Museu de Arte Contemporânea in Lisbon, Portugal

The exhibition Evidence at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea in Lisbon, Portugal is a visual and sonic collaboration between Patti Smith and Stephan Crasneanscki of Soundwalk Collective, inspired by their shared reverence for the French poet-mystics Antonin Artaud, Arthur Rimbaud, and René Daumal. Bringing together sound, film, drawings, collage, installation, and found objects from their travels, the exhibition is a sensorial dreamscape that retraces the steps of the three poets through faraway lands, inspiring a renewed perspective of their works. This iteration of Evidence follows a successful first run at the Centre Pompidou last spring.


For five years, Crasneanscki and Smith worked on a triptych of albums recorded in the Sierra Tarahumara in Mexico, the Abyssinian Valley in Ethiopia, and the Himalayas in India – sites the three poets had traveled to and the traces of which resonate through their works. Each album bears witness to the transience of human memory and the artifacts left in its wake. For the exhibition, a selection of more than 500 sounds composed of field recordings, poetry readings, and rituals are brought together into an immersive sonic experience. The exhibition sets the recordings against artifacts and ephemera that coalesce into a metaphysical travelogue. As the spectators move throughout the exhibition, spatially-located headphones merge the sounds into unique configurations that activate the displayed artworks (the evidence).


Among such artifacts is a circular garden created by Aleph Molinari @ubi.sunt, which represents Antonin Artaud’s passage through the lands of the Raramuri Indians in the 1930s. The garden recreates the otherworldly landscape of the region, the Sierra Tarahumara mountains of Mexico, where Artaud embarked on a spiritual journey with the local Raramuris. More than fifty peyote plants (Lophophora williamsii) are arranged into a zen-like garden that invites contemplation on a landscape composed of sacred plants, central as they are in to the cosmologies of the Raramuris, serving as portals to the unimaginable realms.


On view until September 15th, 2024


Museu de Arte Contemporânea – MAC/CCB

Praça do Império, 1449-003 

Lisboa, Portugal


Text by Anfisa Vrubel

Images courtesy of Museu de Arte Contemporânea and Aleph Molinari



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