Back in the ’80s Kim Gordon wrote for Artforum and made visual art (as she still does) along with making music in Sonic Youth. Here’s an art film, “Making the Nature Scene,” she shot at Danceteria, a New York club that no longer exists. According to Spin, filmmaker/designer Chris Habib digitized the film for Gordon.
Habib writes on the Vimeo website where the video is posted: “excellent video i found in my sonic youth archive. i digitized it for kim during her CLUB IN THE SHADOWS exhibition at kenny schachter’s old space in the west village.
“shot at DANCETERIA in new york c.1985.
“judith barry, roli mosimann, alexa hill, wharton tiers, and chasler aided kim in the production of the film. tony oursler edited it. the ICA & artists space helped fund it.”
Near the end of the film you can hear Gordon reciting part of an essay she published in Artforum in 1983 titled “I’m Really Scared When I Kill In My Dreams. Here is the part of the essay that she slightly edited for the film. You can read the entire essay here.
The club is the mediator or frame through which the music is communicated. The band literally plugs into the technology of the club in order to magnify the sound, turning a possibility into actually, making what is heard by the musicians themselves accessible to an audience. People pay to see others believe in themselves. Maybe people don’t know whether they can experience the erotic or whether it exists only in commercials; but on stage, in the midst of rock ‘n’ roll, many thing happen and anything can happen, whether people come as voyeurs or come to submit to the moment. As a performer you sacrifice yourself, you go through the motions and emotions of sexuality for all the people who pay to see it, to believe that it exists.