VIDEO GAMES: “I can’t believe I just saw Björk watching Björk. That was surreal,” said one guest at the party Nowness held to celebrate the premiere of the music video for “The Gate,” the first single from the Icelandic singer’s forthcoming ninth studio album.
The film, directed by Andrew Thomas Huang, who collaborated with Björk on the videos for her 2015 album “Vulnicura,” which was about her breakup with contemporary artist Matthew Barney, is a heavily CGI-ed, mesmerizing piece of work that shows two lovers passing a prism of love between them. Björk plays one of the lovers, an otherworldly CGI avatar plays the other.
With the exception of the prelude, in which she serenades some surreal floating digital fairy-aliens in a sun-dappled field of grass wearing a bucolic sort of frock, Björk wears a gown made of iridescent pleated lamé designed by Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, one of the co-creative directors of the film, along with Björk and James Merry, who has collaborated with the singer on masks and headdresses for several years.
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A frame from the music video #TheGate, featuring @bjork in a custom #Gucci gown. Directed by @andrewthomashuang, the video's creative directors include #AlessandroMichele and @james.t.merry. The film will be shown on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-6pm at The Store Studios in London, free public admission. From Monday 5am BST @nowness will screen #björk’s video online for 48 hours.
But the famously eccentric star initially had reservations about working with Michele.
Talking in a Facebook Live interview with Jefferson Hack, the cofounder and chief executive of Dazed Media, which acquired a majority stake in Nowness in May in a new joint venture between Modern Media and Dazed Media, Björk said that she can be “a bit tricksy” when it comes to working with big brands.
“I’m not so good with these huge corporate statements and I don’t like them so much,” she explained. “But one thing I do love is being in a room with creative minds and making something together.”
Michele was “up for it.”
“I just love her creative output to the world,” said South Korean model and painter Sang Woo Kim. “I went to her show at MoMA in New York and realized you don’t even really need to know too much about Björk, but everyone knows about Björk. That’s the beauty of her. I think that, as an artist, if you get yourself out there as a name, essentially it’s very easy to become commercial when you’re that big. But I don’t see Björk as being commercial, and that is what every artist aspires to, I think.”
Kim had his first solo show of paintings at the Magic Beans gallery in Berlin earlier this year and is planning a group show next January, with Dazed as a partner. Expect to see paintings that he describes as an “empathetic” reaction to being an immigrant.
“I feel like my work has a lot of nostalgic and reminiscent memories of my upbringing as someone who has been brought up in a society that’s different from when their parents grew up,” he told WWD. “I’m not scared to call myself an immigrant so that people don’t have that stigma around that word that is so terrible these days.”
Other guests included Blondey McCoy, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Greta Bellamacina, Jess Maybury and Michele Lamy.
“The Gate” single was released on Friday and the video will be shown exclusively on Nowness from Monday but Björk’s fans can drop into the Store Studios in London over the weekend to view the film.