For its seventh edition, the public art project Sonora 128 presents Patti Smith. A poet, artist, and performer, Smith returns to Mexico City with the Café La Habana Sessions. Inspired by the idea that a café is not a place, but a state of mind, Smith continues her reflection on the act of artistic creation and the alchemy that unites artists together across time and space. Referring to a brotherhood of mental bonds that keeps ideas alive, Patti Smith salutes the force of the individual and celebrates the collective power of the people.
The Café La Habana Sessions is a series of works and performances organized throughout several locations in Mexico City from September 1st to November 31st, 2017. The title of the project comes from Café La Habana in Mexico City’s Colonia Juárez. A famed coffeehouse established in 1954, its Formica tabletops bore witness to writers and revolutionaries such as Roberto Bolaño, Octavio Paz, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Interweaving history by drawing upon a personal canon, Smith will exhibit a group of photographs throughout the café, evoking a journey across the landscape of the mind, as a detective of artistic heritage.
Simultaneously, Patti Smith debuted a billboard for Sonora 128 in Colonia Condesa, Mexico City. Presenting a lyrical photographic poem, stamped by the commanding refrain: stand as an individual / unite as a people, Smith’s billboard takes the format of an interactive work pointing to the action of individuals and the personal mental space where imaginative ideas are grown. From the outset, viewers are able to call the Café La Habana hotline number, as advertised on the bottom of the billboard, to hear a personal Café La Habana Session from Smith, available 24/7.