December 28, 2010  |  Performance Series
A “Walk-in Performance” at MoMA by Patti Smith and Michael Stipe

On Sunday, December 19, MoMA visitors were treated to a “walk-in performance” by artist and musician Patti Smith, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of prominent and challenging French writer and political activist Jean Genet. The performance, in MoMA’s Marron Atrium, could not have been better. I picked Patti up in a car at 11:30 a.m., and Michael Stipe had joined her, so we all drove to MoMA with the guitars, and at noon sharp, Michael opened for Patti with a heartbreakingly beautiful song by David Bowie about Jean Genet, “The Jean Genie.”

After Michael’s opening, Patti improvised Jean Genet’s biography from his mother’s pregnancy to his deathbed, and she got standing ovations. She carried the Marron Atrium so naturally, it was stunning. I would say several hundred visitors gathered around her and on the bridges on all floors. Among the audience that gathered were artists such as Laurel Nakadate, Laurie Anderson, Marina Abramović, and many colleagues.

Everybody was fascinated by the ease with which she could just do a performance like this—walk in, walk out. The crowd was incredibly caring and receptive, and we hope that we will have more surprise visits like this!


Wow … all the time I spent at MoMA last week, and I missed that ?! … yikes … but many thnaks for sharing it on the site … you guys are the best! Happy New Year!

Has Michael Stipe ever heard JEAN GENIE? It’s got to be the crappiest rendition of any BOWIE song I’ve ever heard!!!

Michael Stovepipe is a brazen songster reaching fingers into cranberry cans refusing to endure charming Molotov pressures

Michael sounds GREAT, but not his guitar…

probably last minute request from patti. like it or not no michael, not as much interest.

Wish I’ve been there too. Thanks to Patti and social media for sharing this wonderful experience. Have a Happy New Year!

Take that NY Times. Posted the same weekend that NYT says MoMA is back from near-suicide. One could also say, that NYT is too quick to kill artists and not give them room to experiment… which MoMA certainly has done. I’d be hard pressed to call Patti Smith (or even Michael Stipe) part of the “male dominated, Cubist-based version of Modernism.” MoMA continues to move forward

Patti Smith’s voice is truly divine. Happy New Year!

Good job Michael. That would have been cool to see. I need to visit this museum.

So much for the much ballyhooed Dialouge you contempties love to spout. Censoring anything that contradicts your view of life as a playpen is more like it, which is pretty much everything in life outside of an art program.

This is absolutely the wrost drivel I have ever heard. Even for Smith this is self indulgent and exhibitionist, worshipping her god of perversion and whining about it. Hell, many have had worse lives and made better choices, this fool made the worst in very case. I have been stabbed and had my kids shot at, and worse. He is scum, period, and you glorify him and these incometent perverts. Those that take truth and twist it to their own lifestyles and desires.

This is not modern music, that would be Miles Davis,the Matisse of music, and Coltrane the Picasso, and so many more. Ignored for some whiny fools who emote and front for apperance, rather than substance. This goes against all true Modern art, which seeks that which is essential as humanity, about Us, not Me. this is pop pablum.

Even my wife is laughint like mad at this, in amazement, and she used to like Stipe. I dont care for childrens lullabies, I prefer adult music taht explore our world, defiens humanity, and seraches for god. But then that would be creative art, and not the lazy, self indulgent crap that this is.

Save the spiritual Watts Towers, destroy the decadent Ivories.
You used to be the flagship of humanity MoMA, now you are the hostage of the rich and decadent. Modern art still exists, it is your job to go out and find it. It will never be of the Academies, no great artist has ever graduated from one, They are the Bastille’s of art, of career, of selfish need rather than selfless love.

for shame.

Leave a Comment

* required information

E-mail address*

Your comments*

Spam check*
Cri_165814 Please enter the text in the image.