Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bjork @ MOMA

Lots of negative reviews for this show, but they're all wrong. For all of Bjork's bombastic moves, she's essentially an introspective poet, which is what this show made clear.

The following photo is a description of the video commissioned by the MOMA, Black Lake. After reading this I explained to Sofia that there were going to be long sustained chords between the verses, that would resonate with her body. It took a minute to explain that idea to her, but she came up to me afterwards to let me know she could feel what I was talking about. The video was on both sides of the wall and so had a kind of 3D quality, with Bjork and Iceland on both sides of the room. Each wall had slightly different images so you wanted to look back and forth to catch everything. There were also 46 speakers set up around the room so that every sound had its own source. Sonically incredible. I found the song harrowing and moving, probably the most emotionally naked thing I have heard by Bjork (or anyone), a careful and honest musical rendering of the night of the black soul that comes from heartbreak. And because the angst is so deeply felt, the rebirth in the song is genuinely cathartic. That experience, which I didn't even know I needed until I was having it, exceeded my expectations for this show all by itself.

So much of this kind of thing, but I didn't mind. I like to see the endless aesthetic innovation an artist can inspire.

As an example of the poetic power, check out the small sample. I love the title of this piece, a simple, but multi-layered phrase. It has both a bold punk negation and a the relief of surrendering.

Letter jacket!

To create yourself

Girls deep in thought

Not long ago, on a rainy Art-Thursday, I showed the girls Bjork videos. When Sofia and Lucia saw this they instantly recognized it from the video and were in awe. 

Mask of hair

There was a seven room tour representing seven of Bjork's albums. The headphones automatically mixed one room with the next so that it felt musically seamless to walk between them. I dug the curated audio tour through these albums.

Profound as a fan of feathers.

Never noticed the crown of teeth before.

I loved that the girls got to see fashion up close that was this whimsical and far out.

Sleeve detail

Shoe detail. (Thinking of Jenn Lew.)

Time for a coffee. These are up in the cafe for kids to play with. Nice one MOMA.

In the art lab now.

While the girls worked/played in the art lab, Genevieve went back to see more of the Bjork show and I read art books (which line the shelves of the lab.) Finding this Alex Katz painting was great, because the evening before Genevieve and I, for our anniversary, went to see a Paul Taylor dance performance of Poulenc's Sea Lark at the Lincoln center -and the costumes for the piece were designed by Alex Katz, all beachwear and it looked just like this.

There were several great poems about Alex Katz from different poets in the book. I love this one by Edwin Denby, new to me.

In turn is this painting of Denby and his wife by Katz. Sorry for the blur. But you get the picture.

Another terrific Katz painting.

Meanwhile Sofia brought me this drawing she made while I was looking at Matisse book. Together they make a Gauguinian dream.

And this twist of paper in the Ed Ruschia book. Cheers.

No comments:

Post a Comment