File transfer service WeTransfer is producing a new brilliant documentary series called ‘Work In Progress,’ which aims to unveil the creative process behind some of the greatest artistic collaborations of our times.
Their first episode features Icelandic musician Björk Guðmundsdóttir and visual artist Jesse Kanda as they go back to their roots and sources of inspiration. Björk’s sharp voice opens a gate onto the Icelandic music scene, analysing the pleasure of challenging collaborations, while a series of visually powerful images rolls onto the screen. “If I collaborate I want connections to be genuine,” you can hear Björk say. “I want them to be for real.”
Björk has been clear in the past about the relationships she weaves with people she collaborates, explaining that there must be a strong artistic connections between two collaborators to make things work. The best ones, then, turn into friendships—like with Venezuelan musician and DJ Arca. “We just really connected,” she told The Grapevine in December. “We were sending each other emails all the time, and songs, and links—sharing music libraries and hanging out all the time with our friends James Merry and Jesse Kanda, going on holidays together, having a really fun time DJing, and talking about music a lot.”
While Björk collaborated with Arca on beats and music, Jesse Kanda has provided some of the most powerful images associated with her work. In particular, his iconic images for Björk’s latest album Utopia, which include the album cover and the music video for Mouth Mantra, are charged with elements of life, death and sex that are at once beautiful and repulsive, in tumultuous visuals that will challenge your ideas of beauty and reality. “I understand working with challenging sourced materials and ideas—blood and bone, softness and hardness, catastrophe and beauty…,” Kanda explains. “That’s what I’m trying to do. Making something painful but transmuting it into something beautiful.”
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