Smoke - Michael Ackerman



Photographs by Michael Ackerman

Texts by Benjamin Smoke, Jem Cohen and...



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Published in an edition of 700 copies, this book is a tribute to Benjamin, singer, poet and figure of the American underground, and to Cabbageton, a poor neighbourhood in Atlanta. Designed as a scrapbook, it combines photographs by Michael Ackerman, pages of Benjamin's notes and archive documents, with texts by Jem Cohen and Patti Smith. It reveals the infinite grace, urgency, delicacy and frenzy of a forgotten man and an era.

I remember my first time at Benjamin’s home, my first time in Atlanta. It was late night, after a Smoke show. He and some friends were hanging out in his room, talking, laughing, smoking. I barely knew him and still don’t understand why I was invited. He was brilliant, charismatic, funny and tender. I sat in the corner, amazed and intimidated and I stayed quiet. Maybe I took a few pictures, maybe not. At about 4 in the morning, I went to sleep on the floor in another room. A few hours later I woke up, looked in his room and saw him asleep, also on the floor, in front of his bed. Now, 27 years later, I try to remember how I felt seeing him laying there so fragile. I did take a picture then, and I picked him up in my arms and carried him to his bed and I went out into the daylight to discover Cabbagetown.

Michael Ackerman


Data sheet

Michael Ackerman
Benjamin Smoke, Jem Coen et Patti Smith.
Caroline Benichou
136 pages including 3 leaflets, booklet of 20 pages
Swiss binding, soft flap cover
Specific features
Four-colour printing on offset paper
26 x 20 cm

Specific References