Kim Gordon’s exhibition Design Office: Noise Name Paintings and Sculptures of Rock Bands That Are Broken Up will open at the Benaki Museum, Main Building on June 12, 2015 and will be on view through August 30, 2015. During the show’s opening Kim Gordon will be performing with her band Body/Head.
The exhibition is part of the collaboration between the DESTE Foundation and the Benaki Museum, which aims to promote new and radical developments in contemporary art through a series of solo and group contemporary art exhibitions hosted at the museum.
For her show at the Benaki Museum, Main Building, Gordon will be presenting a selection of the “Noise Paintings” along with a new body of work.
Kim Gordon's works often reflexively reference her practices in other disciplines. The “Noise Paintings” popularize the type of music that they symbolize and acknowledge, and thus, a web of references emerges between authorship, visualization and the reciprocal influence of poetic communication. The paintings are in a way oracular, as the words they display are orphaned from their intended context, existing in a pure visual language space, with no informational potential beyond their imagistic and contextual properties.
The Hall of Noise
The long, hall-like room at the Benaki Museum, Main Building is a memorial to bands that worked with dissonance and aspects of what is now called noise music. The stretched canvases included in the exhibition represent noise bands, while the squashed floor sculptures are names of bands that no longer exist and that used dissonance, an element in music that goes all the way back to Luigi Russolo and the art of the Futurists:
At first the art of music sought purity, limpidity and sweetness of sound. Then different sounds were amalgamated, care being taken, however, to caress the ear with gentle harmonies. Today music, as it becomes continually more complicated, strives to amalgamate the most dissonant, strange and harsh sounds. In this way we come ever closer to noise-sound. — Luigi Russolo, The Art of Noises (1913)
For the past thirty years, Gordon has worked consistently across disciplines and across distinct cultural fields: art, design, writing, fashion (X-Girl), music, and film/video (both an actress and director). Kim Gordon’s art has been shown internationally including exhibitions at 303 Gallery, New York; Künstlerhaus, Graz and Gagosian, Los Angeles, among others. A widely recorded musician, Kim Gordon is a founding member of Sonic Youth and performs as Body/Head (with Bill Nace). Gordon’s highly anticipated memoir, titled ‘Girl in a Band’, was released in February 2015 on Dey Street Books.
Organized by the DESTE Foundation in collaboration with the Benaki Museum.