Björk in MOMA


Björk in MOMA

Still from the “All Is Full of Love” music video. 1999. Directed by Chris Cunningham. Music by Björk. Image courtesy of One Little Indian
Still from the “All Is Full of Love” music video. 1999. Directed by Chris Cunningham. Music by Björk. Image courtesy of One Little Indian

Icelandic alternative recording artist Björk is getting her very own retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, starting this spring.

The self-titled exhibition will be a look at the singer’s twenty-plus years in the music world, using everything from her recordings to experimental video, costumes, and the instruments she has used on her many records. In fact, according to the museum’s website, various odd instruments used on her album Biophilia—including a Tesla coil, a gravity harp, and a gameleste—will all be playing tracks from that album in the lobby throughout the day.

Björk, Post, 1995 Credit: Photography by Stéphane Sednaoui. Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian
Björk, Post, 1995
Credit: Photography by Stéphane Sednaoui. Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian

The actual showcase, set in the Marron Atrium, is set to be split into several rooms over three floors. One room on the second floor will be set aside for a new project entitled “Black Lake” (the trailer for which is above), a new installation named after a track off her latest album, while another will serve as the retrospective, pulling from past music videos. Above those there will be what the museum calls an “interactive, location-based audio experience”, which will feature everything from robots, writings, and even her famous Swan Dress, which she wore to the Academy Awards.

Björk, Biophilia, 2011 Credit: By M/M (Paris) Photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian
Björk, Biophilia, 2011
Credit: By M/M (Paris) Photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian

The exhibition is set to be quite an immersive experience, as the museum is only allowing 100 guests into the show at one time.

The exhibition draws from more than 20 years of the artist’s daring and innovative career, beginning with her eight full-length albums and multiple collaborations with directors, photographers, designers, artists, and other experimental practitioners, and culminating in a new, immersive music and film experience commissioned by MoMA. The exhibition is conceived and organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator at Large at MoMA and Director of MoMA PS1, and is made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen of America.

Björk, Medulla, 2004 Credit: Photography by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian
Björk, Medulla, 2004
Credit: Photography by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian

The product of a close collaboration between Mr. Biesenbach and Björk, the exhibition brings together a chronology of sounds, videos, objects, instruments, costumes, and images that express the artist’s overarching project: her music. Chronologically, the exhibition begins with the release of Björk’s first mature solo album, Debut, in 1993, and proceeds through her career up to her most recent work in 2015, including a new video and music installation commissioned especially for the Museum, Black Lake (which also appears on her new album, Vulnicura).

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Björk in MOMA

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