Just over one month in, and 2015 is already a big year for Björk. She released her latest album Vulnicura in late-January, two months ahead of its scheduled release and everybody stopped to listen. Now in March, The Museum of Modern Art is presenting a retrospective of Björk as musician and artist—calling attention to her more than 20 years of “daring and adventurous projects.” One example of Björk’s wild and repeatedly unpredictable artistry is her music videos. In collaboration with a long list of artists and filmmakers, Björk has created some of the most beautiful and weird videos to ever play on MTV. Fair warning: Watching more than three Björk videos in a row can induce some strange feelings. We dare you to see how far you can make it. Here are our top10 Björk music videos of all time.
Honorable Mentions (because we can’t help it): The Dull Flame of Desire and Triumph of a Heart
Starting with a slow zoom on Björk’s face, she sings “I’m so close to tears.” Once the full close-up on her eyes is revealed, a glittery animated tear rolls down her cheek, back up through her nose and out of her mouth again. The camera moves in a slow circular motion following the tear. It’s quite…moving.
In “Human Behaviour” Björk travels through a forrest with a teddy bear and a cute little armadillo in a scene that feels like it was made out of paper cutouts. It was her first music video as a solo artist and also the first with Michel Gondry, who would end up creating a whole series of appropriately strange and beautiful videos for the singer.
Björk’s orange hair is so frizzy it’s as big as the moon. She wears a harp as a belt and plays it while the solar system orbits around her. The bright orange against the black night sky is an unmistakable image and one of Björk’s most iconic looks.
In “Mutal Core” Björk sings about tectonic plates, a concept Andrew Thomas Huang brought to life for the video. At the core of the video, is of course, Björk grounded waist deep into the sand singing at the animated and glowing rocks around her. The end is a lava explosion. It’s all very Earth-science metaphorical.
This was one of Björk’s simpler videos, lacking color and offbeat animation. Directed by Stéphane Sednaoui, Björk dances and smiles into the camera as she moves throughout New York City on the back of a truck. Even though it’s black and white, it’s still the most playful, approachable incarnation of Björk yet.
One of many Björk videos directed by Michel Gondry, this conceptual piece turns her success into a book called My Story, which she puts into the arms of the public until it disappears. Starting in a black-and-white nature scene before unfolding into a colorful urban setting, “Bachelorette” is one of Björk’s best conceptual videos.
Here Björk’s body is literally sewn into a wedding dress (designed by Alexander McQueen), as she plays a woman preparing herself for marriage. The first half takes us in and out of the abstract before revealing a half-nude Björk chanting “I love him.” At the time, MTV thought the video too “controversial” and banned it from airplay.
For this cover of Betty Hutton, Björk dances through a revolving diner door, skips through the street in a yellow dress and runs into a group of women with colorful umbrellas who join her in a dance. Directed by Spike Jonze, the video was based on Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and certainly feels like a scene from a broadway musical.
Apparently robots were quite the sensual beings in 1999. Director Chris Cunningham turns Björk into a robot and has us watch while she’s put together in a factory before falling into a sexy make-out session with another bot. Technological but romantic, it’s impossible to look away. Not to mention, the computer animation techniques were a special feat at the time.
Designed by video production team Encyclopedia Pictura, this mythological 3D video is a world of its own. Odd and inspired, it goes far beyond our usual expectations of music videos and can more closely be defined as “experimental art.” When one of the creators Isaiah Saxon was asked about the “basic concept” of the video, she said: “Björk is an archetypal nomad, shepherding giant yaks through the Mountains.” Which, totally. She also said the video took nine months to create. It was worth it.