Björk’s music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to give the girl props for consistently pushing boundaries visually, whether it’s the famous “swan dress” she wore to the Oscars in 2001 or the skin-piercing, skin-baring video for “Pagan Poetry.” Now the Icelandic singer has a new album to promote, Vulnicura, and is doing so with video clips that artistically suggest an outpouring of guts, if not gore.
See, she and her boyfriend (artist Matthew Barney, also the father of their child) broke up, and Björk is hung up on all the physical punishment that goes with that. Broken heart, heart ripped out of chest, stabbed in the back, cut to the bone, all that good stuff. Gutted. In “Home,” a video she calls a “moving album cover,” she lies splayed and nearly filleted on a rock, although you don’t notice how badly at first due to the blackness of her exterior—whatever latex or oily sludge she’s covered in. Then the magenta goo starts teeming forth…
In “Black Lake,” a trailer for the album, Björk is lying in a ditch, naked but for some foliage, but all is not well—once again, she’s been cut open, and something—life, spirit, who knows—is escaping.
The clip that may be freaking the most people out, the video for the single “Lionsong,” doesn’t feature any precious bodily fluids, but it does feature a beating human heart. Well, it looks like a beating heart, that quivering piece of meat that keeps us all going—it’s actually a woman’s heaving chest (Björk’s?) in a strange, veiny cellophane top. But you have to remind yourself that’s what it is; each time it shows up in the video, it looks like a heart again.
Björk told Pitchfork that the breakup/recording of Vulnicura was “the most painful thing I ever experienced in my life”—yeah, we get that. If you want to buy the music, or just check in to make sure the girl is ok, visit Björk.com.