Photo by Santiago Felipe
Björk performed a pair of DJ sets at this past weekend’s Day for Night festival. Some found the performance a true exemplification of the festival’s ethos, but apparently a few journalists were unimpressed with the Icelandic artist’s change in direction. After being criticized for “not ‘performing’ and ‘hiding’ behind desks,” Björk took to Facebook to pen a missive against what she sees as sexism in music media.
The open letter noted that she has only been publicly DJing for a year, and while most of her fans have been receptive to the new side of her career, others have been resistant. “Women in music are allowed to be singer songwriters singing about their boyfriends,” she wrote. “If they change the subject matter to atoms, galaxies, activism, nerdy math beat editing or anything else than being performers singing about their loved ones, they get criticized; journalists feel there is just something missing … as if our only lingo is emo…”
She then used her most recent albums as examples. She said she believes Volta and Biophilia weren’t as well received as Vulnicura because their subject matter didn’t deal with the typically feminine topics of heartbreak and love. “Men are allowed to go from subject to subject, do sci-fi, period pieces, be slapstick and humorous, be music nerds getting lost in sculpting soundscapes but not women. If we don’t cut our chest open and bleed about the men and children in our lives, we are cheating our audience.”
Still, she ended the note with an, “Eat your Bechtel Test heart out,” explaining that she sees a “change is in the air.” After writing about “a classic female subject matter: the heartbreak” on Vulnicura, she hopes “I get to have a costume change and walk out of this role… Let’s make 2017 the year where we full make the transformation!!! The right to variety for all the girls out there!!!”
Read the entire open letter below.