London-based director Jesse Kanda is perhaps best known for his visual collaborations with Arca. His latest directorial credit is the new Björk video, for her Vulnicura track “Mouth Mantra,” which happens to have been co-produced by Arca. The song is perhaps the album’s most menacing and free-form piece, and thus seems like perfect material for Kanda’s poetic/horrific/gummy corporeal distortions.
The video is just as enthralling and unsettling as you’d expect, seeing a camera zooming in and out of Björk’s mouth — and swirling around in it, and letting it swirl around in itself — as she sings the song. (Its lyrics play on her former struggle with vocal nodules to emphasize the power song and speech can give a person.) In a statement to Dazed, who first featured the video, Kanda said:
If there’s one thing I’d like for people to take away from this video, it’s the power of vulnerability. That is what Björk’s album Vulnicura is all about to me, and hopefully this video reflects that. It’s about having the courage to express yourself and seeing yourself in that mirror. Doing something that scares the shit out of you and sharing it, growing from it, spreading love and courage to others and making the world a warmer place to be and relate to each other.
And Björk hinted at the process behind the making of the video (it seems that that is not actually her mouth, but rather a “high tech mouth model”):
i am so extremely grateful to jesse to be up for going on this journey …. it was brave of him to take it on and i feel spoiled having witnessed him grow , making hi tech mouth models and inventing cameras all to match a little therapeutic song about the throat . his dedication and devotion is overwhelming !!! i am especially grateful for those sassy dancefloor moments we managed to squeeze in there aswell : true magic !!