ICELAND’s most famous pop export Bjork looks nothing like your average Sydney DJ.
Sitting in a lightless dark space at Eveleigh’s Carriageworks, the indie hit maker chose a typically bizarre ensemble to address media about her virtual reality exhibition, Bjork Digital, which opens today for Vivid.
Two large pearls bobble in her eye sockets obscuring her view. An elaborate copper wire horned headpiece encases her face — the copper hue setting off her orange rubber pussy-bow shirt.
It’s classic Bjork, yet the media are not permitted to photograph it. That privilege goes to one man and one man only, Santiago Felipe, the singer’s personal photographer who flew into Sydney on Wednesday to photograph the visual perfectionist.
The Human Behaviour and Venus As A Boy singer is bringing video art, sound and music together for her appearance as a celebrity DJ at two sold-out shows in Redfern tonight and tomorrow nights, in a show that largely explains what the artist has been doing for the past decade.
Bjork will spin discs from her private ‘70s music collection and other influences during a 300 minute set that kicks off a two-week exhibit of five of her digital VR works.
“I always DJed just for friends and then it sort of slowly became this part of me that maybe taps into when I was a kid,” the 14-time Grammy Award nominee and one-time Oscar nominee said.
“I always wanted to have my own radio show — where I wanted to tell people about music like ‘Oh my God, this is really rare 70s (track) — they only gave out like three copies in Guatemala’ Just show off, you know, and be the David Attenborough of music hunting. I am a person who hunters (sic) and gathers music from all over the place. You can expect some sort of a journey through my record collection.”
A prospect that “excites” the perennially quirky star.
“I am very impressed with this festival,” she said of Vivid which has Carriageworks to thank for luring the artist back to Australia.
“We actually have a festival in Iceland that is totally different, only music, which is called Iceland Airwaves.
“What I like about that, is that it uses the whole city and you can walk around and it takes a long time — you have to kind of do a billion things in 48 hours and always feel guilty you’re missing something.
“So I like the feeling that you walk around and bump into people and you make new friends. I think it’s a really organic way or natural way to do it.”
While loving Vivid, Bjork can’t say if she was ever asked before to appear at it.
“I can’t remember if they asked me (to sing). I think it was more like the person that I work with — David Levy, who has organised my concerts since I was a teenager — that we were asking him if he could find a place on earth that would be up for this risk (laughs) — that I wanted to do, show all the VR, the videos and then DJ and a lot of people were just like “uuuurrrgghhh” and had cold feet but David then was right into it, so that’s kind I kind of did appear.”