Clemente x 8: Patti Smith

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About the Speaker

Since the runaway success of her memoir Just Kids (2010), Patti Smith is as well known as a writer as she is a rocker. Her seminal album Horses was followed by nine releases including Radio Ethiopia, Easter, Dream of Life, Gone Again and Trampin’. Her artwork was first exhibited at Gotham Book Mart in 1973, and she has been associated with the Robert Miller Gallery since 1978. Strange Messenger, a retrospective of three hundred works, made its debut at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and has been exhibited world-wide, most notably at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Haus der Kunst, Munich and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Her books include Witt, Babel, Woolgathering, The Coral Sea, and Patti Smith Complete 1975 –2006. Patti was last on stage at the Rubin in 2005 for The John Giorno Poetry Festival: Everyone Gets Lighter.

Photo by Edward Mapplethorpe

Clemente x 8: Robert Lepage

About the Speaker

Versatile in every form of theatre craft, Robert Lepage is equally talented as a director, playwright, actor and film director. His creative and original approach to theatre has won him international acclaim and shaken the dogma of classical stage direction to its foundations, especially through his use of new technologies.  Among his most noticed work for the stage have been The Far Side of the Moon (2000),The Andersen Project (2005), Lipsynch (2007), and the new staging ofNeedles and Opium (2013); at the opera, The Nightingale and Other Short Fables (2009) seen at BAM in 2011, and Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (2010-11 and 2011-12) mounted at the Metropolitan Opera; and recently for the big screen, Triptych (2013).

Clemente x 8: Nas

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About the Speaker

A hip-hop icon since the early 1990s, Nas has since sold over 20 million albums worldwide, and has acted as an ambassador for hip-hop culture throughout the globe. The son of jazz trumpeter Olu Dara, the first full-length album by the poet and rhyme-master arrived in 1994, the RIAA platinum Illmatic. He has since released nine solo albums and three compilation albums that have been certified double-platinum, platinum or gold. In recent years, Nas has engaged in greater levels of philanthropy. He is an avid UNICEF supporter, helping to raise funds for East African region Horn of Africa and teaming up with the family of George Harrison for the organization’s Month of Giving. Nas also donated all proceeds of Distant Relatives, his 2010 collaboration with longtime friend Damian Marley, to help end poverty in Africa. His most recent release was 2011’s Life Is Good, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, marking the sixth #1 album that Nas has produced in his career. The collection also received four Grammy nominations bringing the rap icon’s Grammy recognition count to 13. He is the subject of the autobiographical filmTime is Illmatic, which opens in theaters October 3.

Clemente x 8: Gelek Rimpoche

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Born in Lhasa, Tibet, in 1939, Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche was recognized as an incarnate lama at the age of four. Among the last generation of lamas educated in Drepung Monastery, he was forced to flee to India in 1959. As director of Tibet House in Delhi and as a host at All India Radio, he strove to maintain visibility for Tibetan culture, as but by the late 1970’s it was clear that his calling was as a teacher of Western practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. Francesco Clemente became his student. In 1988, Rimpoche founded Jewel Heart, a Tibetan Buddhist Center and settled in the United States. His Collected Worksnow include over 32 transcripts of his teachings, numerous articles as well as the national bestseller Good Life, Good Death (2001) and the Tara Box: Rituals for Protection and Healing from the Female Buddha (2004). American Rimpoche, the film about his life, was premiered at the Rubin this past summer. Gelek Rimpoche also presided over the opening of the museum ten years ago, on October 2, 2004.

Image: Clemente with his teacher Gelek Rimpoche

Clemente x 8: Eric Ripert

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Eric Ripert left home at the age of 15 determined to become a chef. After training in Paris, Ripert arrived in New York in 1991, working briefly as David Bouley’s sous-chef before Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze recruited him as chef for Le Bernardin.  There he earned a four-star rating from the New York Times at the age of 29. He has remained at the restaurant ever since and has never dropped a star. His appearances on Bravo’s Top Chef for four seasons and other TV shows have made him nationally recognized. His latest book Avec Eric: a culinary journey with Eric Ripert, was published in November 2010 with more than 100 recipes inspired by his travels. He was last seen on stage at The Rubin with Momofuko’s David Chang to talk about ‘Buddhist cuisine’.

Photo by Nigel Parry

Clemente x 8: Billie Tsien

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About the Speaker

The 2013 National Medal of Arts to Billie Tsien and partner Tod Williams was recently awarded for their contributions to architecture and arts education.  Their studio, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA), located in New York City, focuses on work for institutions – museums, schools and non-profits; organizations that value issues of aspiration and meaning, timelessness and beauty.  Their buildings are carefully made and useful in ways that speak to both efficiency and the spirit. A sense of rootedness, light, texture, detail, and most of all experience are at the heart of what they build. Billie Tsien is currently involved in completing a project in India for Tata Consultancy Services in Mumbai which relies heavily on indigenous materials and artisanal resources. Parallel to her practice, Tsien maintains an active teaching career and lectures worldwide.

Photo by Dorothy Alexander

Clemente x 8: David Chase

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David Chase is a writer, director, producer, and creator of the Peabody Award-winning HBO drama series The Sopranos, which premiered in 1999 and won twenty-one Emmys and five Golden Globes. Early in his television career, he produced and wrote for shows such as The Rockford FilesI’ll Fly Away, and Northern Exposure. Chase’s directorial feature film debut, Not Fade Away, was selected as the centerpiece of the 50th New York Film Festival in 2012.  The film was a music-driven coming of age story set in suburbia in the ’60s, and was released in by Paramount Pictures in December 2012.

Clemente x 8: Alfonso Cuarón

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It was Francesco Clemente’s work that stood in for Ethan Hawke’s artistic output in Alfonso Cuarón’s contemporary reworking of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations  in 1997. The Mexican-born director came to international attention with his 1991 hit, Love in the Time of Hysteria (Solo Con Tu Pareja), which led  director Sydney Pollack to hire Cuarón to direct an episode of his noir anthology series, Fallen Angels (Showtime, 1993-95).  In 2001 Cuarón returned to Mexico to direct Y tu mamá también (And Your Mother, Too). The film’s success led to Cuarón’s next job, directing what is arguably the best received of all the films in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Cuarón’s dystopian thrillerChildren of Men was followed by Gravity, which earned him the Best Director Academy Award this year, but also an additional six Oscars for the film.