The Invisible Woman: A Conversation with Björk
With each album she makes, Björk immerses us in a fantastical universe of her own design. Now, on Vulnicura, she’s letting us in to her world—though it is not necessarily one of her own choosing. The album outlines the dissolution of Björk’s relationship with her longtime partner, the artist Matthew Barney. She confesses the devastation with candor…
Vulnicura may be the most tender-hearted work Björk has ever issued, but it also finds her most sure of her power as a woman, a producer, and an artist; all of her invisible work made clear…
Pitchfork: When it was originally misreported that Vulnicura was produced by Arca, instead of co-produced by you and Arca, it reminded me of the Joni Mitchell quote from the height of her fame about how whichever man was in the room with her got credit for her genius.
Björk: Yeah, I didn’t want to talk about that kind of thing for 10 years, but then I thought, “You’re a coward if you don’t stand up. Not for you, but for women. Say something.” So around 2006, I put something on my website where I cleared something up, because it’d been online so many times that it was becoming a fact. It wasn’t just one journalist getting it wrong, everybody was getting it wrong. I’ve done music for, what, 30 years? I’ve been in the studio since I was 11; Alejandro had never done an album when I worked with him. He wanted to put something on his own Twitter, just to say it’s co-produced. I said, “No, we’re never going to win this battle. Let’s just leave it.” But he insisted…
Pitchfork: The world has a difficult time with the female auteur.
Björk: … If whatever I’m saying to you now helps women, I’m up for saying it. For example, I did 80% of the beats on Vespertine and it took me three years to work on that album, because it was all microbeats—it was like doing a huge embroidery piece. Matmos came in the last two weeks and added percussion on top of the songs, but they didn’t do any of the main parts, and they are credited everywhere as having done the whole album. [Matmos’] Drew [Daniel] is a close friend of mine, and in every single interview he did, he corrected it. And they don’t even listen to him. It really is strange.
Pitchfork: How does it make you feel when this happens now?
Björk: I have to say—I got a feeling I am going to win in the long run, but I want to be part of the zeitgeist, too. I want to support young girls who are in their 20s now and tell them: You’re not just imagining things. It’s tough. Everything that a guy says once, you have to say five times… (Complete article at the source.)