Björk Retrospective


Björk, Cover image for the single Venus as a Boy, 1993, by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

8 March – 7 June, 2015 the Museum of Modern Art, New York will present “Björk”, the first retrospective dedicated to the multifaceted artist that explores Björk’s singular place in contemporary art, and celebrates her highly original and significant music, compositions, performances, and visual presentations.  Björk offers an experience of music in many layers, with instruments, a theatrical presentation, an immersive sound experience, a focused audio guide, and related visualizations -from photography and music videos to new media works.


Björk, The cover image for Biophilia, 2011, featuring a red nebula-style wig by Eugene Souleiman, dress by Iris van Herpen, and a ‘harp-belt’ in cherry wood and bronze by threeASFOUR. Constellation by M/M Paris. Photo courtesy Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. The Biophilia cover depicts Björk as a kind of sci-fi Mother Earth. The image weaves together elements of the universe, as illustrated by M/M Paris.

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. 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.

Thames & Hudson is publishing Björk: Archives in March to accompany the exhibition at MoMA.

Bjork_BookBjörk, Contributions by Klaus Biesenbach, Alex Ross, Nicola Dibben, Timothy Morton, Sjón, Hardcover Slipcased, 192 pgs. with 224 illustrations, March, 2015.

Designed by top design studio M/M Paris as a slipcased world of wonders, this publication which accompanies springs exhibition on Björk at The Museum of Modern Art is composed of six parts: four booklets, a paperback and a poster. Each booklet contains illustrated texts by, respectively, Klaus Biesenbach, Alex Ross, Nicola Dibben and Timothy Morton, while the poster features artwork of Björk’s albums and singles.

The first book is an overview by the New Yorker’s music critic Alex Ross, who writes about Björk’s wide appeal and range, from club culture to high art. The second book is written by Nicola Dibben, professor of musicology at the University of Sheffield, who contemplates Björk’s feminism. There is also a “slightly adventurous” piece by posthumanist philosopher Timothy Morton, a text by MoMA chief curator at large Klaus Biesenbach, and the longest text is contributed by Icelandic poet Sjón. Sjón traces the journey of the seven albums Björk has produced since becoming independent and the personas she created for each of them. Sjón’s work is accompanied by new images of the singer that were taken in her native Iceland, and a video of their creation is featured in the exhibition.