After last year’s harshly criticised exhibition at the MoMa, Björk has stepped back into the art scene, as it would be expected from someone who is consistently pushing the boundaries of the status quo. This time around, the exhibition “Björk Digital” at London’s Somerset House occupies a completely different realm in the arts, which is fuelled by the ever so popular virtual reality (VR) technology. The exhibition comprises digital and video works, which resulted from the Icelandic icon’s collaborations with some of the most admirable visual artists and programmers in the world. Björk’s VR project invites visitors to engage with her work in a more private intimate manner, where the public is no longer detached from the performance but instead is enveloped through the latest VR technology and transported into a unique space that blurs the boundaries between performer and spectator.
The exhibition will include VR experiences based on tracks from her recent “Vulnicura” album, some of Björk’s never-before-seen work and an educational space showcasing the apps and bespoke instruments developed for her 2011 “Biophilia” album. From “Vulnicura”, the public will be able to experience “Black Lake”, the groundbreaking film commissioned by the MoMa, and “Stonemilker VR”, a one-to-one performance of the first track of the album; both pieces were directed and produced by the Los Angeles-based filmmaker Andrew Thomas Huang. “Black Lake” will be delivered through panoramic visuals accompanied by an exceptionally cutting-edge surround-sound system, and “Stonemilker VR” will be experienced in full 360-degree VR, where viewers finds themselves in a one-to-one performance with Björk at a remote beach in Iceland.
Moreover, the exhibition will also include two unusual yet intriguing VR experiences that will surely make the visit worthwhile. “Mouthmantra VR”, worked with director Jesse Kanda, consists of a somewhat disturbing inside footage of Björk’s mouth while she sings the title track and her teeth and tongue appear to come to life. On the other hand, “Notget VR”,directed by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, presents the public with a giant Björk moth-like reincarnation, which is transformed by artist James Merry’s enthralling masks.
“Björk Digital” is at London’s “At Somerset House” through to 23 October 2016
Additionally, as part of the European premiere of “Björk Digital” London will also host two special concerts performances in September.