With a prolific career that spans over thirty years, it’s kind of hard to keep up with all the cool shit that comes out of Kim Gordon’s head. Here are just some of the projects mentioned in the Huck 42 Body/Head cover story with some interesting anecdotes and trippy visuals to enhance the experience.
Girl in a Band
Sonic Youth went on hiatus in 2011 after Kim and Thurston announced their divorce and Kim announced in September 2013 that she plans to release a memoir Girl in a Band with HarperCollins early 2014. According to the publisher, Kim will chronicle her choice to leave Los Angeles in the early ’80s for the post-punk scene in New York City, where she formed Sonic Youth. Besides the memoir, the New York Times reports that Sternberg Press will soon release a collection of Gordon’s essays written for various magazines in the 80s.
Trash Drugs and Male Bonding
In 1980, a year before Sonic Youth officially formed, Kim wrote an essay for art journal REAL LIFE magazine about the testosterone-heavy underground rock/No Wave scene in New York called ‘Trash Drugs and Male Bonding’. REAL LIFE, a black-and-white magazine originally edited by artist, writer, and curator, Thomas Lawson and writer, Susan Morgan, published twenty-three issues from 1979-1994 and featured artists and art historians writing on art, media and popular culture.
Kim recently featured in the opening episode of the third season of Lena Dunham’s era-defining HBO series Girls. Although Kim has said she doesn’t know Lena personally (she got the gig through her friend and Girls executive producer Jenni Konner) Kim has voiced her admiration of the filmmaker and even made some paintings of Dunham’s tweets that say things like, “I never thought I’d be close friends with so many damaged men in their forties.” In Girls she plays a self-righteous addict in rehab where Jessa (Dunham’s on and off screen best friend) is posted.
Surface To Air
In 2012 Kim designed a twelve-piece capsule collection for high-end hip Parisian brand Surface To Air. Inspired by her own style icons like Francoise Hardy, Anita Pallenberg and Jennifer Herema, the collection – which was designed in collaboration with Surface To Air’s head women’s designer Dorothée Loermann – featured classic and punkish pieces like loose-fitting tees with Kim’s iconic scrawl over the top, a smart leather jacket and an orange 60s-inspired wraparound dress. Surface To Air made this video at home with Kim to launch the collection.
Design Office with Kim Gordon – Since 1980
In September 2013 White Columns in New York hosted Design Office with Kim Gordon – Since 1980, the first survey exhibition of Kim’s ongoing art practice. After studying at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles in the late 1970s, Kim put on her first solo exhibition, presented under the name Design Office at White Columns in 1981. This comeback exhibition, over thirty years since the original, includes photographs, writings, videos, paintings, sculptures and archival materials relating to Gordon’s activities between 1980 and 2013. In a 1980 statement about Design Office Gordon wrote: “The general area of interest for myself is experimental; using art to deconstruct design and design to deconstruct art as it exists within varying lifestyles.”
Kim founded female streetwear brand X-Girl (little sister to Beastie Boys-affiliated X-Large) in the early 1990s and had many high profile artist and musician ambassadors like Sofia Coppola, Rita Ackermann and Chloe Sevigny. Kim made this short Godard-inspired promotional film for the brand in 1995. Chloë Sevigny told Nowness: “I was hanging out with [Kim and Rita Akermann] all the time and making videos with Bernadette Corporation and all those people; it was all up in the mix.” The script is a discordant, avant-garde and subversive take on fame, gender roles and the art and music scene of mid-90s New York. Director Phil Morrison told Nowness: “I remember being concerned that people might find it boring, and Kim being very encouraging that she wouldn’t mind that at all, that it was to some degree the idea.”
The Kim Gordon issue of Huck is available to purchase now from the Huck online store or a stockist near you.