An Index of PlacesSarah Morris

Artworks by Sarah Morris
Interview by William J. Simmons


Images by Wendy Bowman


WS Tell me about how you got your start.
SM I did a manifesto when I was a senior at Brown. It was called Defunct. There was only one issue. One of the things that was in the manifesto was a review of one of Hal Foster’s books published by Bay Press. I approached a number of people about this manifesto. One of them was Jeff Koons, who I asked to do a contribution to it. We had a rapport, and I obviously needed a job when I came to New York, so I asked him if he could make up a job for me. When I first got to New York, I was also in the Whitney Independent Study Program. You have to imagine this; it’s completely surreal. I took a bus to New York for the Whitney Program, and then I had a part time job at Jeff Koons’s apartment [before he ever had a studio] helping him with the Made In Heaven show. So ideologically and politically it had very interesting contradictions and the full spectrum of activity.
Jeff had just done the Banality show, which caught my interest as a student even though I wasn’t in New York. I thought this was really interesting—an artist functioning like a producer. So I proposed for him to make a job for me. I ended up helping edit all of the Made In Heaven images with him. Then I would go from there down to the Whitney Program and listen to Mary Kelly talking about Lacan, and it was a crazy juxtaposition. I cannot even begin to describe how it covered the entire range of activity—intellectual texts and discourse to “pornography”. The program was very politically correct. I rode my bike literally between these two positions and it never bothered Jeff at all, but it pissed everybody else off. There was a lot of friction because of my behavior, but I enjoyed it because of that.


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