1980 Design Office

In the short story "Honeymoon Habit" 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 both of them in 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" was originally published in Real Life Magazine's 5th issue, in winter 1980. The magazine was founded and edited by artist, writer, curator, Thomas Lawson, and artist, writer, Susan Morgan as an intermittent black and white magazine. It collects significant early writing by fellow artists and writers, a loose clique of the New York artworld of the Eighties. In 2014 it got included into the book Kim Gordon, Is It My Body? Selected Texts by Sternberg Press.

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

On the occasion of the 2014 show Design Office: Coming Soon presented by Gagosian Gallery at Fitzpatrick-Leland House, Los Angeles, Kim Gordon recounts: "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."