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Bjork’s 20-Year Career Highlighted at MoMA Exhibit

Icelandic singer Bjork gets a retrospective installation at MoMA, which begins March 8.

Updated February 12, 2015.

Icelandic singer Bjork’s distinct style is about to be honored at a special exhibit in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The retrospective, which is scheduled for March 8 – June 7, draws across the many disciplines that Bjork has influenced, including music, fashion and performance art. The highly anticipated exhibition was recently included in a Huffington Post article, “The 21 Art Exhibitions You’ll Be Talking About This Year.”

Over the course of her 20-year career, Bjork has left a unique footprint on the music industry. Originally the lead singer of the avant garde pop group Sugarcubes, the singer soon branched out to become one of music’s most distinguished solo artists.

Her eighth studio album, “Biophilia,” centers around the exploration of the universe. The album has expanded beyond a tour to include the Biophilia Educational Program, a school curriculum that teaches students nature appreciation and environmental preservation.

Alongside educational outreach, the Biophilia album also includes a companion app. This will mark the first downloadable app inducted into a museum collection, and will be exclusive to MoMA. The app, which was developed as a result of collaboration among artists and scientists, includes pieces of interactive artwork which reflect natural patterns in the universe. 

The exhibit will feature projects from Bjork’s breakthrough 1993 solo album all the way through her work on Biophilia. Featured pieces will include videos, instruments, costumes and reminders of Bjork’s extremely successful, albeit short-lived, film career. Work by The Icelandic Love Corporation (ILC), a group of three artists who worked with Bjork to create visuals for the “Volta” (2007) album cover, will also be part of the MoMA exhibit. Some ILC pieces on display include two crocheted costumes, or wearable sculptures, called “WildWomanWoodooGrannyDollyCrochet,” which Bjork wore on the “Volta” album cover, and “SecondSkin,” which the musician wore in 2004. According to a post by Senior Curator Paola Antonelli on the MoMA blog, when he first saw Bjork perform in 1987, he knew that “it was just a matter of time before she would invade and conquer the territory of design.”

Photo Credit: Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinhoodh Matadin. Björk, Volta, 2007. Crochet costume by The Icelandic Love Corporation.

Photo Credit: Bernhard Kristinn. Björk wearing Second Skin by The Icelandic Love Corporation, 2007.

On February 13, MoMA released a trailer for “Black Lake,” a new sound and video installation commissioned by the museum for Björk’s upcoming exhibition. The song “Black Lake” appears on the artist’s latest album, “Vulnicura.”

These pieces and more will be tied together through a narrative created by Bjork and award-winning Icelandic writer Sjon Sigurdsson, and will include an abstract mix of biographical and fictional storytelling.

The installation’s content will be developed through Bjork’s collaboration with video directors, fashion designers, and other artists. This includes a new immersive music and film piece directed by director Andrew Huang and 3D graphics by design company Autodesk. According to MoMa’s Chief Curator at Large, Klaus Biensenback, these intricate pieces are all essential to “a direct experience of her [Bjork’s] hugely collaborative body of work.”    

Bjork recently released her latest album, “Vulnicura” two months ahead of schedule, after some songs were leaked online. Click here to learn more about her latest work and what critics have to say about it.

Hailing from humble origins in Reykjavik, Iceland, Bjork’s upcoming exhibit is evidence that she is quickly becoming an influential figure in both music and art. According to Biensenback, “[her] contributions to contemporary music, video, film, fashion, and art have had a major impact on her generation worldwide.”