Louisiana Channel: Literature (10 of 116)
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Live performance. The first time Patti Smith performed on a stage she read the poem “Fire of Unknown Origin”, set to music by Lenny Kaye. Watch their performance of the poem again 41 years later at the Louisiana Literature festival.

When Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye performed “Fire of Unknown Origin” in St Mark’s Church on February 10, 1971 it aroused as much outrage as enthusiasm, Patti Smith says here, and compares the episode to what Pussy Riot have been going through in Russia.

Here Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye perform the number, which Smith calls “scary” because it’s so long since she has done it on stage.

Interview by Christian Lund, Louisiana Literature, 2012.

Produced by Honey Biba Beckerlee.

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

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Louisiana Channel is a non-profit video channel for the Internet launched by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in November 2012. Each week Louisiana Channel will publish videos about and with artists in visual art, literature, architecture, design etc.

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Supported by Nordea-fonden.


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