Sunday 29 March 2015

CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT: Björk at MoMA, disappointing & embarrasing

Image via The New Yorker.

Having read only negative critics and reviews about the Björk exhibition at MoMA I feel that I have to post them here. Have any of our readers had the (bad) luck of visiting the exhibition? I would love to hear from you! Meanwhile, here's a fragment of the Prospero article in The Economist: "As a subject, Bjork is indeed worthy of formal scrutiny. She has spent decades crafting music that transcends genres. Her compositions are full of surprises, mixing techno beats with string arrangements, layering bells, beeps and purrs of wildlife. An avid collaborator, she has worked with many film-makers, fashion designers, producers and other artists, reliably coaxing out some of their best work. Then there is that voice—high, strong, clear, sometimes girlish, always unmistakable. No one sounds like Bjork. With this show, several years in the making, MoMA could have set a new template for a multimedia museum experience, blending music and video, text and artefacts. This retrospective could have mapped out Bjork’s creative process, placing her prodigious talent in some kind of context. Oh, this show might have done so many things. Alas, the only thing it reliably does is waste people’s time." Read full article in The Economist. E.T.P. 3'

The New Yorker's Peter Schjeldahl published an article on the same lines of The Economist one: MoMA's embarrasing crush with Björk. " rare consensus of critics has greeted the Museum of Modern Art’s show “Björk,” which is centered in a two-floor pavilion, in the museum’s atrium, packed with audio and visual exhibits tracking the Icelander’s career. Weighing in early, Ben Davis of ArtNet News predicted “an immense Eyjafjallajökull-sized ash-plume of critical bile to appear over midtown any second now.” And sure enough: tick tock, boom. New York magazine’s Jerry Saltz adjudged the show “a discombobulated mess,” and Jason Farago, in the Guardian, called it a “fiasco” and, not to waffle, a “disaster.” Roberta Smith, in the Times, zeroed in the “ludicrously infantilizing and tedious” audio narration, by the Icelandic poet Sjón, that accompanies a viewer’s pavilion tour with treacly sentiments about the progress in life of “a girl.” “Insure that you experience this journey as thoroughly as possible,” the unctuous voice urges at the start. What follows confirms the general rule that whenever anything artistic is described as a “journey,” you can be pretty certain of going nowhere. . . And yet Björk is unscathed." I'm so intrigued by this exhibition. Read the article here. E.T.P.

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