5/28/2015

1980 Design Office

In the short story "Honeymoon Habit", originally published in Real Life Magazine, no. 5 (Winter 1980), Kim Gordon tells about one of her early Design Office interventions. The clients, an artist couple sharing one room on 8 Spring Street, New York, had commissioned her to change their apartment. As part of her art practice, Gordon – widely known as a founding member of the band Sonic Youth – added a small mirror and a light with a metal shade to the place and spray-painted them both copper. "With the two new items added to the apartment and painted a color that is simultaneously street oriented, in a defined state, and rich looking, the project will not be resolved until the clients buy a smaller refrigerator."

"Honeymoon Habit" is part of the book Kim Gordon, Is It My Body? Selected Texts, Sternberg Press, Frankfurt am Main 2014. In the following year we transferred the text into a show at a project space in Vienna and an artist edition.


Constanze Schweiger, Untitled (Gro├če Neugasse 44), 2015
Part of Kim Gordon: Honeymoon Habit by Anne Speir and Constanze Schweiger, pinacoteca, Vienna
Photo: Thomas Ries

Kim Gordon on the occasion of her show Design Office, Coming Soon at Gagosian Gallery Los Angeles, 2014: "Design Office began in 1980 as a way to practice art outside of the gallery system. The first projects involved friends’ apartments. D.O. was to be sort of a reflective intervention into the lifestyle of the clients. Objects and a physical change to the interior based on the personality and desires/needs of the client. The design activity was not meant to be well executed or look a certain way, have a certain look or style. If anything it was a lo-fi aesthetic using or recycling other aesthetics."

5/15/2015

1961 Claes Oldenburg

In Claes Oldenburg's famous artist statement for the Environments, Situations, Spaces catalog (Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, 1961) he brings together an extensive list of associated forms and states that art can take in order to define vigorously his interest in the complexity of art and life. In "I am for an art that takes its form from the lines of life itself" he literally pictures a line that behaves and exists in our imagination in many diverse and familiar ways "that twists and extends impossibly & accumulates and spits and drips, and is sweet and stupid as life itself." He calls for art that one can smell or hear or smoke, that one can touch and interact with, that is a joke, that makes no sense or that eventually fulfills a function; "art you can sit on" and "art that does something other than to sit on its ass" within the context of an established art institution. Oldenburg is "for an artist who vanishes, turning up in a white cap painting signs or hallways" and "for the art of bread wet by rain."