Saturday, March 14, 2015


Saw the Bjork retrospective at MOMA and  loved the SONGLINES part of the exhibition (on the third floor,) which is essentially a biography of Bjork as vocalized through her albums beginning with DEBUT (1993) up to BIOPHILIA (2011.)  It contains wildly crazy, beautiful outfits, personal notes, photos, and the poetry of her handwritten, scribbled down words, written in pencil as if ephemeral to be erased with time. One walks through the exhibition with earphones hearing B talk, viewing the costumes she wore, and  songs from the albums that accompany that particular time period. She is a great singer and her emotions are an open wound pouring out of her throat like the blue lava that is sliding down the rocks in an accompanying video.  Mannequin sculptures looking like Bjork - dressed in her singular attire seem to have walked out of a futuristic world with roots going back to Ancient times; wearing those earphones we find ourselves isolated and enveloped into a playful, wondrously magical environment - driven along by a commanding anguished voice.

Downstairs, despite having to wait on line and there being no seating In the black, darkened room which made me personally very uncomfortable - is a video commissioned by MOMA titled BLACK LAKE ( from the song with the same title from the 2015 Vulnicura album,) depicting Bjork beating her chest in exaggerated pain - but the intonation suggests this is no exaggeration.To pummel oneself over LOVE lost is something I have never seen or heard so penetratingly conveyed - flesh being torn up to reveal the betrayal of one's life-sustaining organ - lacerated and defeated. The thrashing gestures pounding against her frail body have a certain theatricality, but her resonance and tonal cries convince us of their authenticity.

The image of a heart floats throughout the exhibit. In the video performance projected unto two screens - the specifics of the last 9 months together, and the 11 months apart - after her decade long relationship with Matthew Barney ended - are engraved into Bjork's body. The tongue screams, whispers and enunciates the bitter shards of loss.

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