Björk has effortlessly startled the boundries of music since her Debut album. Throughout her career she has incorporated a fusion of art and technology into not only her music, but her performances as well. To honor her artistry, The Museum of Modern Art has announced that it will present a full-scale retrospective dedicated to the multifaceted work of the composer, musician, and artist Björk.
“We started recording on computers even back in the Sugarcubes, and I remember when our keyboard player was pregnant and couldn’t come on tour, we actually had MIDI on stage with the drummer, who would hit her keyboard scales on a drum thing. So it’s always been lurking, like, “Here comes this thing. How are you going to collaborate with it in the most organic way possible?”
“I bought a laptop in 1999, and it was quite liberating, because I could make a lot of my own decisions. When I was in bands, I would be very democratic and just write my melodies and lyrics. With my solo albums, I slowly did more and more and more. On Homogenic, I made most of the decisions, but then Vespertine is where I could spend three months doing these needlepoint arrangements. Maybe because I’m a lady [laughs]– I really like haberdashery and knitting and crocheting, and Vespertine is a bit like that. It’s like five billion details, so [the laptop] definitely gave me more independence.”
“During that time, everyone was moaning that computers were going to kill me, so I was trying to take a laptop– which had very bad sound at that point– and make this whispery, hibernation-winter world where things were frozen anyway. I tried to use that as a poetic thing; you could argue that I worked around the tool.”
The MoMA exhibit draws from more than 20 years of the artist’s daring and adventurous projects and her seven full-length albums—from Debut (1993) to Vulnicura (2015). Chief Curator at Large at MoMA and Director of MoMA PS1, the exhibition Björk —to chronicle her career through sound, film, visuals, instruments, objects, costumes, and performance. The installation will present a narrative, both biographical and imaginatively fictitious, cowritten by Björk and the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón.
In addition to Björk’s solo work, her collaborations with video directors, photographers, fashion designers, and artists will be featured as well. The exhibition culminates with a newly commissioned, immersive music and film experience conceived and realized with director Andrew Thomas Huang and 3-D design leader Autodesk. The Björk installation ran from March 8, 2015 to June 7, 2015; MoMA is the sole venue. MoMA also announced that the Biophilia app joined its permanent collection, becoming the first app to do so.
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