Björk has released a second video for her Vulnicura track “Notget.” The first was made to be a virtual reality experience, as part of Björk Digital — the artist’s touring VR exhibit of music videos from her 2015 album tracing the dissolution of her 13-year romantic partnership with Matthew Barney, maker of attractively styled, distended art films about testicles, turd rivers, and whale blubber.
The new video shares imagery with the first, particularly in its explosive neon-colored latter half — though the first few minutes see Björk dancing in intimate, black and white footage, in a new cocoon-like costume and a delicately mothy mask of the sort she’s been wearing on her tour for the album. Like the VR video, this was directed by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones.
In the song, she sings, “Don’t remove my pain, it is my chance to heal,” and it seems that in her public documentation of something both personal and universal, she got to outwardly wear pain and activate it to other ends. She recently told Vice:
When I sing [these songs] now it’s actually more like a singer now, it’s less about my life. The oldest songs are five years old – that’s a long time. It feels different to sing it now. It’s still painful because some of the songs are not even about me, or my personal experience, but just about how hard love is sometimes, for everyone. Any love, not just that love.
She also discussed the reasons why she’d veered away from writing an album with these themes for a while:
The last few albums before I purposefully didn’t talk about stuff like that because I felt with albums like Biophilia it was my time to do an album about science, about galaxies, or atoms, and boys can do that and do their science fiction film and no one’s like, “Why aren’t you talking about your girlfriend?”
Befitting the process of healing, songs like “Notget” have begun to take on their own life, as Björk has used them to make statements about the potentials of technology beyond capitalism via Björk Digital, and to make a “soft feminist” statement in releasing and performing a strictly string versions of Vulnicura. She also released a songbook (yesterday), similarly highlighting the fact that she does all of her arrangements — something she’s noted people have long overlooked, largely due to gendered assumptions about musicians.
Watch the new “Notget” video: