Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Bjork. Museum of Modern Art

A heartbreaking exhibition of staggering banality. I suppose what one might think of this exhibition depends on what one thinks of the pop singer, the Icelandic diva Björk. Personally I’m not a fan of hers, although I thought her performance in the film “Dancer In The Dark” superb. That said I found nothing in this multi-media hit you over the head exhibition to be of interest, and I’m still scratching my head over why the hell is this show at the Moma in the first place? Is it money, (no doubt there will be long lines once this thing opens to the general public), an appeal to the tourist trade, especially the young ones or is it simply a desperate move by the museum to look hip. I suppose any or all of these reasons are valid but quite frankly I’ve had more fun looking at the window displays at Barney’s than I did at this fashion driven display of manequins and videos.  
One is greeted at the entrance of this thankfully small and compact extraveganza by some underpaid Momaettes who hand you a pair of headphones and an iphone sort of thing and  somberly tell you to hit start when you enter and do nothing else. By hitting start you begin this prentious babble in which Bjork talks about her life and “art” and sings some songs  as you move from one cramped space to another looking at Bjork looking manequins and robots wearing colorful and fanciful outfits, and yes her famous swan dress is included looking somewhat tame and quaint compared to today’s fashions. There are also some dull notebook pages and jots by her that are presented as if they were pages from Da Vinci’s notebooks. The exhibition is set up so that as you wait on line you think you are in for something special, it reminded me of when I was a 17 year old teenager and I eagerly waited on long lines at the 1964 World’s Fair to get into one of those spectacular rides that would take me on a journey into the future.
Nothing like that here. As I said the spaces are small and cramped and I guess I should be thankful for that, as it doesn’t so much as sprawl as crawl. The most enjoyable part of this part of the show was the guard who stood stiff and still as if he was one of the mannequins and had me fooled until he moved and we both laughed out loud. The second part of the exhibition is down in that God-awful Atruim where once again you wait on a line to enter a dark space in which you can view some video and music installations in which after one minute I ran out silently screaming. If you still have even a small amount of respect and admiration for this institution I suggest that you save your money skip this vanity exhibition.


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