Anarchic Poetry and Noisy Guitars

She bites her tender mind is a multidisciplinary exhibition that echoes a punk legacy but with a poetic twist. Working in a cyclical manner each aspect of Kim Gordon’s life informs her aesthetic, from music or, fashion to performance. An armchair sits in wait in a corner, high pitched guitars pitch and scream through the corridors. A residue of some after party, the fallout of glitter seen in the light of day. The work intertwines with the surroundings of IMMA, acting like a misbehaving youth. Twisting the interior into a hotel to house her art reflects Gordon’s interest in Airbnb as an alien fake home and shows an uncertainty arising from curated comfort.  The works are in conversation with each other, framing and forming a personal visual language. These tentative conversations transform into a larger whole.

A Punk sensibility is evident in the aggressive handling of the materials, a performance through physicality comes through the work. This aggression is offset by the influence of Sappho’s poetry. Gordon becomes Sappho creating noisy verses of her own. The tempo of the exhibition culminates with the climax of the video installation Proposal for a dance (2012). The two female forms are wild and uninhibited, creating visceral staccato notes that attack the guitars. In contrast the two female bodies interact in harmony, showing a love and respect between them. An imagined memory of Sappho is dreamt up by the artist, played out in the form of a garage band. Debasing the art object, Gordon uses femaleness in context with the phallic image of paintbrush and guitar, hip thrusts are used in mocking tones. Proclaiming I’m here don’t fuck with me.

Written by Anna Gormley

Anna Gormley is a visual artist currently living and working in Limerick. She is a member of Wickam street studios.

Kim Gordon’ She bites her tender mind is at IMMA until 10 November 2019.

Irish times review

IMMA Press release