Josef Bull is a Swedish artist based between Stockholm and NYC. Last summer he joined a two-month residency on an icebreaker in the Arctic Ocean. Here are some of his thoughts and a selection of images from the trip. The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat invited me to join Swerus-C3 this summer: a two leg Swedish/Russian/U.S expedition in the East Siberian Arctic Ocean. The goal of the expedition was to investigate the linkage between climate, cryosphere… [read more »]
As I searched for this week’s installment, I decided to go for a more random country, one that didn’t strike me as a primary magnet for world music lovers.
And that’s when I came across this confounding video for Raske loobuda, a song by the convivial Estonian duo, Pixie Twins. Confounding because it’s intensely comedic, while being entirely devoid of the later intention or any sense of self-awareness.
Basically, if a Hallmark card could be turned into an earnest music video, this is it. The art direction is an unabashed catalogue of near-shockingly generic poses and gestures. The mid 90′s Ann Taylor Loft styling, sedate fake-fur collars and choppy hair set against autumnal forest and northern beach are bewildering, because they so virulently embody the height of banality.
The song itself, which sounds like a cover of something I’d rather not be familiar with,might as well be white noise. The video inhabits a strange location, where blithe spirits toss autumn leaves at each other–one visited by bad Hollywood rom coms, advertising agencies, postcard makers, high street clothing catalogs from the past five decades, etc. This magnum opus of mawkishness reads like a spoof. But it goes far beyond that… Raske loobuda is a perky Video 101 presentation for a set of insipid, commercial stereotypes. And therein lies our corny beauty.
Pixie Twins take the scattering of pink rose petals into a picture-perfect river, in contempo-casual attire, very seriously.
And so should you.