“哦,失望” 比约克在MoMA

看到“The Economist”上关于比约克在MoMA(现代艺术博物馆)展览的一篇文章。题目是It’s oh so disappointing。哦,失望。文章说当纽约的MoMA宣布今年要为比约克做一个她职业生涯的中期回顾展的时候,好多评论人数落MoMA说,这将 是一个当代美术馆自杀式的行为——把自己变成主打票房的嘉年华。何苦为了一个刚出了新专辑的流行歌手把自己变成一个营销场所。

“ 随着展览的开幕,我们见证了MoMA在坚持这件事上笑到了最后。作为主体,比约克确实值得这样一个具有形式感的观看。她多年创作的跨流派音乐,作曲里充满 了惊喜,电音舞曲加上弦乐,铃声,哔哔声,当然还有野兽的呼噜声。她还是个狂热的合作者,与很多电影人,时装设计师,制作人,艺术家合作,并且成功的哄骗 到他们最好的艺术作品。还有她的声音——高亢,强烈,清澈,有时像少女般的,无瑕疵的声音。没有人的歌声像她一样。这次的展览,在多年的策划安排 下,MoMA融入了音乐,视频,文字和人工制品,设定出了多媒体博物馆体验的新模式。这次回顾展显示了比约克的创作过程还有她在某种语境下那惊人的天赋。 哦,当然这个展览还做了很多贡献,其中一点可以确定的是它成功的浪费了大家的时间。”

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之后作者发了牢骚说人们在MoMA排着长队去看比约克的影像装置,其实就是MV。还有那些出自大设计师的演出服,包括经常和她合作的亚历山大麦昆,但服装展示的方式比起一个具有感官享受的艺术展览,更像是咖啡厅里摆放的明星假人。

“音 频的导览完全没用,一个平淡无味的叙述性写作,作者是冰岛的诗人 Sjón, 也是比约克长期的合作伙伴。‘从前有一个女孩,女孩独自生活在森林里的一片熔岩荒原上,’音频导览的刚开始说道。比约克的整个简历——包括她早年作为一个 歌者和朋克摇滚乐手在雷克雅未克生活,在伦敦的个人作品,她和 Matthew Barney长达13年的爱情故事,他是一个艺术家,也是她第二个孩子的父亲——所有这些都被挤进一个歌咏般的故事情节里,听起来像是一个创意写作练习的 成果。‘她是一个猎人……一切都充满了爱。’糖浆似的导览咏颂着。与其说它深入洞察了比约克的生涯,不如说是整个把她奉为从遥远国度来的爱情女神。”

“当然并不是所有都那么糟。花些时间看比约克的MV还是值得的,尤其是有超大的屏幕和环绕立体声。她经常与一些有远见的导演合作——Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Andrew Thomas Huang ——结果往往是惊人的。比如说2012年Huang拍摄的 “Mutual Core”,流沙埋没了她的腰,沙子犹如五彩的情色喷发出来。这样奇异的影片没有得到更多的展示简直是耻辱。现在你只能在一个按时间顺序排列的两个半小时 循环播放的视频里看到它。你可以找个舒服的地方,被它们催眠。”

凑热闹的看完作者酸溜溜的牢骚,还能看到底下评论里因为“Lady GaGa什么时候进MoMA”打起来的人们, 实在度过了一个美好的午后时光。并没有翻译全文,下面附上原文。

It’s oh so disappointing

Mar 16th 2015, 15:13 BY E.B.

WHEN the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York announced it was devoting a mid-career retrospective to Bjork, an Icelandic singer, some critics pounced. The show is all part of MoMA’s “self-suicidal slide into a box-office-driven carnival”, complained Jerry Saltz in New York magazine. Others wondered why the museum was tarting itself up as a marketing vessel for a pop star with a new album coming out.

With the show now open, it would be nice to report that the museum has had the last laugh. 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.

Prepare for some long queues. The line just to buy a timed ticket snakes out of the door and down the block. Then there’s the queue to get into the show, in a cramped, two-storey pavilion specially built in the museum’s atrium. Expect to wait again before being allowed to enter a modest screening room to see “Black Lake”, a specially commissioned video installation (ie, a music video) featuring a song from “Vulnicura”, Bjork’s emotionally devastating new album. And finally there’s the queue to enter another larger screening room where 32 of her music videos play back-to-back. All of this time spent waiting is not merely irksome; it also serves to build anticipation for a show that feels flimsy and unfinished.

The centrepiece, such as it is, is “Songlines”, which winds around the upper level of the pavilion. This “psychographic journey” through Bjork’s career should take 45 minutes, according to the whizzy audio guide, but it is easy to run through these strange, intestinal galleries rather faster. In part this is because it is difficult to get a sense of pace and space in this awkward maze of an exhibition, arranged chronologically by album. But also it is because there isn’t that much to see.

There are vitrines of Bjork’s notebooks filled with scribbled lyrics and notes. Then there are a number of her costumes, dresses, masks and other ephemera, some of which are genuinely astounding. For example, there is the “Bell Dress”, designed by Alexander McQueen (a frequent collaborator), which Bjork wore in her music video for “Who Is It” in 2004. There is also the swan dress designed by Marjan Pejoski, which the singer famously wore to the Academy Awards in 2001. But the way the displays have been assembled makes them feel less like sensuous art exhibits and more like the kind of celebrity flim-flam one might find in a Hard Rock Café.

The audio guide hardly helps. It features a somewhat insipid storybook-like narrative written by Sjón, an Icelandic poet and long-time collaborator. “Once there was a girl, a girl who lived alone in a lava field in a forest,” the guide begins. Bjork’s entire biography—her early years as a musician and punk-rocker in Reykjavik, her solo work in London, her 13-year love affair with Matthew Barney, an artist and the father of her second child—is somehow squeezed into a sing-song storyline that sounds like the fruits of a creative-writing exercise. “She was the hunter…and all was full of love,” the syrupy guide intones. Instead of lending insight into Bjork’s career, this show merely fetishises her as some kind of pixie love-goddess from a distant land.

Not all is lost. It is worth making the time to watch Bjork’s music videos, which are well-served by a big screen and surround sound. The singer regularly works with visionary directors—Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Andrew Thomas Huang—and the results are often spectacular. Mr Huang’s video for “Mutual Core” from 2012, for example, features Bjork buried to her waist in shifting sands, which come alive in colourfully erotic eruptions. It is a shame that these singular films are not somehow embedded in the larger show; as it is, they can only be seen on a two-hour chronological loop. Visitors should find a comfortable spot and allow themselves to be mesmerised.

A leitmotif of love—explosive, transformative and ravaging—runs through the show. Bjork’s music is often robustly emotional, full of juicy exuberance or romantic despair. Her latest album is essentially a raw chronicle of her separation from Mr Barney, with each song assessing an increasingly desolate landscape. The film “Black Lake”, also directed by Mr Huang, features Bjork in a bleak, damp cave, mourning and purging a lost love (“You fear my limitless emotions/ I am bored of your apocalyptic obsessions”). It ends on a note of rebirth, with Bjork, now 49, in a dress of gossamer wings, walking stridently towards a sunnier unknown. Unfortunately MoMA’S strangely discordant show never quite captures this depth of feeling, or even tries to understand how the singer transforms it into compelling work. Yet Bjork once again emerges triumphant, if not unscathed, from the experience, ready for her next big project.