If you’ve seen, heard, or read anything negative about the Björk at MoMA exhibition, and believe it, DO NOT READ THIS POST.I don’t plan on bashing anyone involved in the exhibition’s creation. I don’t plan on bashing the execution of the exhibition itself. And I don’t plan on complaining about the amount of space dedicated to this exhibition. Somewhat due to me finding those issues to be so trivial that only the privileged seem to find fault, but mainly because we don’t know the real challenges that arose in the process. Nor do I need or want to be privy to such details. Can’t we just enjoy the presentation for the beauty that she is without critiquing the people and brand behind it? Of course we’d love something of this magnitude done in another space for another artist, but guess what? That’s not what happened. It was done at the MoMA, for Bjork, and if you don’t like it, go jump on a bed of needles.
Back to the multi-faceted retrospective of Björk at MoMA. A temporary exhibition from March 8 – June 7, 2015 exploring over 20 years of her innovation through music, videos, visuals, objects, costumes, and instruments. I don’t think I saw all those retrospectives, but I definitely experienced the visual and auditory components that accompanied you on this musician’s journey. With every story told, you were given a deeper understanding to certain fashion, sound, and lyrical choices, it raises the bar of her talent to more than just another “Pop star”. Which also baffles me. Since when was Bjork ever considered pop? Her manifestations are so far from the relatable norm, that if any pop star during her initial reign, did what she did, it would have seemed like a last stitch effort to maintain one’s fanbase. Like her 2001 Academy Awards “Swan Dress” by Marjan Pejoski complete with a long neck, head, and a moment where she pretended to lay an egg. [Fun fact: Marjan Pejoski is also the designer behind KTZ. Fancy that!] What would we expect her to wear, a silver embroidered column gown by Versace? ::yawn::
I don’t think I’m being a stan either. This is all my opinion as are the other “critics”. The only difference is that I went in with an open mind. Call me uneducated, but I didn’t know any of the names of the directors listed on the press release. Not because I didn’t care to do my research, but I tend to stay away from the “critic” world – wine, food, art, film, etc. There’s always a sense of, “Oy, mate! Over hear. Yeah, me! I’m a critic. Trust me!” Basically, I find there to always be a pretentious, “Don’t you know who I am?” everywhere they linger. Even during the exhibitions press conference there was a young women from Opening Ceremony’s blog who resembled a slim oompa-loompa sporting a green dress, green hair, and green eyebrows to boot. An older woman stopped to snap a photo of her and asked, “You’re a blogger?” before smirking, “How desperate,” under her breath as the OC woman walked away. The older woman never asked why she was dressed the way she was, the name of her blog, her audience, nada. Nor did she care because based off the brief conversation I had with her assistant sitting next to me, “that’s just how she’s always been.” Sad.
Basically go see the Björk exhibition. Listen to no sniveling, entitled critic that believes their outlook on a masterpiece holds more value than your own. You may hate me for pushing you to see something that results in you burning every Björk memorabilia you’ve ever owned, or you may send me an engagement ring for persuading you to venture out and explore a realm you had thought against. At the end of the day, if you’re so influenced by what others tell you, than it’s ultimately your loss.
Björk, Post, 1995
Credit: Photography by Stéphane Sednaoui. Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian
Gallery images from left to right (Photo credit Tillie Eze’s iPhone 6Plus):
Icelandic Love Corporation Second Skin, Hamurinn, 2004
Yarn, metal wire, nylon stocking, wood, felt and rubber boots
Icelandic Love Corporation Wild Woman Voodoo Granny Doily Crochet, 2007/2015
Woolen yarn, wood, foam, polyester and plastic
Hussein Chalayan, Turkish Cyproit, British, born 1970 Airmail Jacket, 1994/2015
Encyclopedia Pictura Isaiah Saxon, American Sean Hellfritsch, American “Wanderlust” costume, 2007
Wool and leather
Encyclopedia Pictura Sean Hellfritsch, American Isaiah Saxon, American “Wanderlust” Painbody Head, 2007
Soft foam, latex
Bernhard Willhelm, German, born 1972 Body Sculpture, 2007
Styrofoam with laquer spray paint
Chris Cunningham, British, born 1970 “All is Full of Love” Robot, 1999
Matthew Barney, American, born 1967 Vespertine Music Box, 2001
Acrylic, brass and copper mechancial apparatus
Matthew Barney, American, born 1967 Vespertine Live Shoes, 2001
Alexander McQueen, British, 1969–2010 “Pagan Poetry” Dress, 2001
Pearls, lace, tulle
Nick Knight, British, born 1958 Homogenic, 1997/2015
Photography and animation
Marjan Pejoski, Macedonian Swan Dress, 2001
Tulle, feathers and leather
Alexander McQueen, British, 1969–2010 Bell Dress, 2004
Silk, metal bells
The exhibition is organized by Chief Curator at Large and Director of MoMA PS1 Klaus Biesenbach and made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen of America. Additional funding and support provided by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, The Modern Women’s Fund, The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, Iceland Naturally, and the MoMA Annual Exhibition Fund.