Kim Gordon

  • Kim Gordon

    1 THE COATHANGERS (Pappy & Harriet’s, Pioneertown, CA, May 1) The Coathangers are an all-girl band from Atlanta, sort of punk, sort of No Wave, surprisingly original. We didn’t know what hit us! Cool desert air on the outside, hot and sweltering on the inside—the band killed it like I haven’t seen in a long time.

    2 THELMA AND THE SLEAZE The opening act for the Coathangers, this fierce female group had the best outfits: pantyhose! Pure and simple, nude undress without the bare skin. They reminded us just how scary stockings can be when worn alone.

    3 “ALL I DO IS SMOKE TREES, ALL I DO IS

  • SECOND ACT:

    “EACH CLUB vies for the position of ‘favored art club,’ as a yet newer alternative to the art world’s alternative spaces. It seems to be what the art world wants.” Penned during the rise of Danceteria and Raymond Pettibon, Wild Style and No Wave, KIM GORDON’s early-’80s analysis of the intersections of the club scene and the art world seems as resonant today as it was on its publication in Artforum in 1983. Gordon wrote as a participant-observer, having cofounded the legendary band Sonic Youth two years before. And as a musician, artist, designer, and author—her memoir, Girl in a Band, is out this month—Gordon has always chosen her points of entry into various worlds with precise timing and equipoise, finding inspiration in a Karen Carpenter single or a holiday wreath as much as in the art of Mike Kelley or Gerhard Richter. In her exchange here with NICK MAUSS, another dizzyingly peripatetic artist, who enlisted Gordon to perform in his dance work 1nvers1ons, 2014, this past autumn, Gordon reflects on an omnivorously interdisciplinary practice in which knowing “what the art world wants” is a material in itself, something to be shaped, reconfigured, and redeployed.

    NICK MAUSS: I THINK PROBABLY THE FIRST—I wouldn’t even call it a performance—but appearance of yours that I saw in an art context was “The Club in the Shadow” [2003]. New York still felt relatively new to me, but I could tell that this was all wrong—it was just so bizarre and off the mark. And yet you and Jutta [Koether] managed to create such a celebratory suspension of disbelief. Despite the context and because of it, you created this framework for people to be in, but nobody seemed to have any idea what was going on. At one point, I saw Chuck Nanney playing a Theremin and people

  • The Best Exhibitions of 2014

    TO TAKE STOCK OF THE PAST YEAR, ARTFORUM ASKED AN INTERNATIONAL GROUP OF ARTISTS TO SELECT THE SINGLE IMAGE, EXHIBITION, OR EVENT THAT MOST MEMORABLY CAPTURED THEIR EYE IN 2014.

    OSCAR MURILLO

    KIM GORDON

    LORETTA FAHRENHOLZ

    Broad City is the first TV show to fully exploit the comic potential of the gentrification of our minds.

    WOLFGANG TILLMANS

    LAURE PROUVOST

    This is an image from a book on Ferdinand Cheval’s Palais Idéal (1912). My family was recently seeking architectural inspiration for a museum that will be built when our lost granddad comes out of his conceptual tunnel. It has now been more than

  • Kim Gordon

    IN 1979, I was headed to New York from Los Angeles, and Mike decided to drive across the country with me to visit friends. On the way, we pulled into New Orleans. It was late at night and all the hotels were booked; the city held so many promises of a “good time.” Mike kept talking about it as a real haven for pleasure. We ended up finding some flop hotel downtown in a sleazy business area, far from the exciting, romantic French Quarter. We were exhausted and sort of delirious.

    When we woke up in the morning, projected images of the city sidewalk were moving around the walls of our room. Secretaries

  • Kim Gordon

    KIM GORDON

    1 Mouthus, Saw a Halo (Load Records) Soul without a soul sawing away at demons past even while gliding toward a future hell, this record has everything you could want from a listen: ecstasy, remorse, and the unknowable.

    2 Charalambides, Likeness (Kranky) Tom and Christina Carter let us into their world a little more with each release. “Do You See” is starker and more vulnerable than anything by P. J. Harvey, yet it’s also their most accessible song. Tom’s guitar sets the rock tone while Christina belts it out with heart.

    3&4 MV & EE with the Bummer Road, Green Blues; MV & EE with the

  • AMERICAN PRAYERS

    MICKEY MOUSE, MARILYN MONROE, and Coca-Cola T-shirts are still popular all over the world, proving America’s ability to sell an image. But in the ’60s the youth of America, disillusioned with the American way, sought to escape from all this by returning to past ideas of communal living and to slogans of love and peace. Incredible violence surrounded the times. Aside from the Vietnam war there were the Kennedy and King assassinations, and a steady stream of violent protest demonstrations. On the level of popular culture there were such events as the mysterious death of Brian Jones and the Rolling

  • I’M REALLY SCARED WHEN I KILL IN MY DREAMS” (FROM A LYRIC BY GLENN BRANCA)

    In the spring of 1981 the rock group Public Image Ltd. (PiL) played at the Ritz in New York. That club’s movie-scale video screen, which functioned as a barrier and was used to create or motivate the crowd’s reaction, was the center of the performance. PiL’s three members were projected on the screen, both as shadows (they were lit from behind for the video cameras) and as a video picture. A giant image of John Lydon’s face, laughing, appeared, larger than the Wizard of Oz. He began singing, and then the live image was changed to a pre-recorded tape of a demented commercial rock video. Furious