Rimbaud’s Litter by Patti Smith | Wadsworth Atheneum

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Arthur Rimbaud’s Litter, installation by Patti Smith. Photo by Rena Silverman.

“Curated by the museum’s director Susan Talbott, Patti Smith: Camera Solo, which opened last week, features three rooms of Smith’s photographs. One of the rooms is entirely devoted to Arthur Rimbaud: a recreation of the stretcher he was carried on . . . .” – Rena Silverman, BOMB magazine, 1.7.11

Stricken with painful inflammation in his right knee for twenty days, the 19th-Century French poet Rimbaud hired workers to build a litter on which they carried him for 300 kilometers from Harer to Zeilah in eastern Ethiopia. The journey took twelve days across the desert. He was poor and sick and needed this gentle carrying. But the inflammation was already too far gone. By the time he arrived back in France his right leg had to be amputated and he died on November 10, 1891.

When I visited the Patti Smith: Camera Solo exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, it was her installation, Arthur Rimbaud’s Litter, that moved me most. It was delicately, simply, and starkly constructed. Its scale, materials, and final placement in the room conveyed a truth, a beauty, a love, a poem finally, holding his presence in absence, holding vigil.  – Donna Fleischer

Rimbaud’s Letter to His Mother April 30, 1891

Patti Smith: Camera Solo by Rena Silverman

Arthur Rimbaud

 

Advertisements
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: