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Dazed&Confused, Oct 2003 (Volume2 issue#6).
Article by Milena Selkirk.
Kim Gordon is a woman of many parts. Not only is she a world respected musician -- singer and bass player of Sonic Youth -- but she also designs her own fashion line (X-Girl), writes poetry, paints and spend a lot of time with her ten-year-old daughter Coco.
Most people don't know that Kim was a working artist before she found fame as a musician. In the 80's, she painted, sculpted, and exhibiterd her way into New York's burgeoning art galleries. Her films and her Design Office show took her all the way to London's ICA, where she participated in the celebrated Art and Architecture series.
These days, Kim is back to her old tricks. Collaborating with German artist Jutta Koether and curator Kenny Schachter, Kim will soon present a new show, The Club in the Shadow at the ConTEMPorary, an alternative art space in Manhattan's West Village. The concept for the show is to convert the metal-based art space, designed by noted artist turned archiect Vito Acconci, into an ad-hoc nightclub. Kim wants spectators to become the spectacle. The gallery will be sectioned off into different club-like environments such as the "glitter room" decorated with metal foils, glitter and scratched mylar where Mariah Carey's film flop Glitter will be projected on top of Madonna's Swept Away.
Throughout the month, Erase Errata, Baby Donut, and Kim herself will perform on the club's open stage for impromptu expression. She may throw a mean month-long party, but Kim was never a club kid herself. "I hate clubs," she admits. "But at first it was sort of new and fresh. You would get the downtown rockers mixed in with more chic people... We want to reconstruct that."
Here, Kim picks her top three turn-ons.
By: Milena Selkirk
Early 1980s New York clubs
Vito's design reminted me of an early 80's hart-style club, like the Danceteria. New York is such the quintessential skyscraper city and this club was suppose to be a utopian place where every floor would house all your needs. At Danceteria, they had the main floor where bands played, the second floor was a big open room where they had a DJ, and the top floor had a video lounge and a little cage. They would sometimes have art on the walls. We were trying to take off from there. We're really interested in the notion of why people go out, what happens when you go out, what you're looking for.
Mariah Carey and Madonna
They're part of the landscape. America doesn't have history like Europe does. It has popular culture and that's our landscape. They're like out trees. Here's Mariah on the street wearing a middleskirt in the middle of winter - she is like a tree or something. Americans don't like old things; it's just new stuff and that's why (Mariah and Madonna) are so important because they're our barometer. It's like you're watching those girls work hard. Let's give them a round of applause. It's like watching the wheels turn on the industry of consumerism.
Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell and the LA canyons
I was listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin III and IV when I was working on my last show. It was about how Joni Mitchell had infulenced them, especially her album Ladies of the Canyon. My last exhibition was based on LA, all about death. It was kind of an architecutural tour based on a text I wrote about hitchhiking around the city as a teenager and being influenced by Joni Mitchell and the canyons versus the flatlands. Growing up in west LA, it's really banal and flat.
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