Text Jacopo Bedussi
Björk returns, this time also thanks to Alessandro Michele, who dedicates to her an exhibition-performance room in the new Gucci Garden, dominated by the dress worn in the video of The Gate and inspired by the Baroque Angel by Roberto Capucci, excellent master of 20th century fashion. A scientist of colour as perhaps only Josef Albers and manipulator of volumes, refractions and symmetries at the limits of the surreal. Frank Gehry of the dress to which the fashion system must incalculable acknowledgments (and gratitude).
It is a great starting point to review the evolution of Björk as ante-litteram influencer, not mainstream, but rather with a lateral target, attentive and thoughtful, cradled in a cocoon of snow and dry leaves, reflective shells, industrial lullabies and mocking looks. Not at all easy, always a mismatched teen, she was born post-punk and comes to the very cultured couture. When, in the early ‘80s, she performs with her post-punk bands, it is a mix of geek and Nordic rebelyouth, musical vitality and childish innocence. With the Sugarcubes she brings an ethereal nihilism, shoegaze backcombings and dream pop. The ‘90s are her best stage, the decade in which she refines the iconic frozen status for a generation attentive to the avant-gardes and artistic and technological contaminations and for an LGBT world that puts together the pieces and the imaginary after the AIDS massacre.
In Bjork’s cultured and never glamorous hedonism, minimalism and joie de vivre meet. Awareness of the contemporary and also analysis of the tragic part, without ever abandoning herself to a sliced melodrama. It is in this climate that her style becomes the mix of exoticism and graphics, which are the covers of Post (‘95) and Homogenic (‘97) and the fascination for digital, at the time universe which is expanding and a source of maniacal enthusiasm. These are the years of the relationship with Matthew Barney, a contemporary art star and also a creator of worlds perfectly poised between charm and horror. In 2001 the swan dress of the Macedonian designer Marjan Pejoski marks the end of a flamboyant decade with a capacity for a perfect synthesis of what the artist had done up to that moment, and transforming that outfit into a sort of holy picture. People will talk about it everywhere, among charts, loves, hates, parodies, so much to earn a “the Björk’s swan dress” page all for itself on Wikipedia. Interviewed on the subject, «It is just a dress» she replies.
What comes next is less aesthetic and more music, perhaps even more family and affections, without however abandoning a personality built with minuteness and intelligence. Every so often, however, she faces and shoots the cards, as well as this time: the eternal return of the Arctic Bowie.