I had the opportunity to visit the anticipated Bjork Digital exhibition at Somerset House last week and I can only describe the experience as peculiar.
Admittedly, I had never heard of the Icelandic singer, and thus had absolutely no idea what to expect behind the doors of the beautiful venue. What I did find, however, was beyond anything I could’ve ever imagined.
The digital presentation was overwhelming to say the least and as a virtual reality virgin, motion sickness and headache warnings would have been appreciated. Each room contained stools and pairs of headsets for guests and with every piece being of a digital nature, I found the experience hard to digest. The solely technological make up of the exhibition caused me to struggle with unravelling the concept of the piece initially.
Despite disliking the make up of the presentation, on further reflection, the concept and meaning of the wacky videos played through virtual headsets intrigued me. I have a continuing battle pin pointing one specific theme, nonetheless there are a few ideas that spring to mind; fearless, independent women, apocalypse with regard to an impending eco disaster, heartbreak.
Regardless of personal opinions on the material of Bjork, the ground breaking technical progression exhibited in Somerset House cannot be disputed. I was amazed at the vivid realness I was experiencing whilst remaining glued to a stationary stool. The potential uses of this technology is endless. What Bjork accomplished with it has to be commended.
Whilst I was left with a confused, muddled impression on departure, I would be lying if I said that I hated the exhibition. It provided the shock factor and broke boundaries, something I respect and appreciate. The abstract, almost grotesque nature of the content defies the social conditioning of the brain to digest prettiness and forces the mind to open its eye to the prospect of ugly realness.
I can’t claim to be a Bjork fan after having witnessed her work, but what I can claim is to be impressed with the unique bolshiness of the Icelandic icon.