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20 of 20 found the following review helpful:
more impersonal thant Bjork's scrapbook Jan 25, 2002
By Carla Killetti
Bjork has a talent for choosing amazing people to work with such as musicians, photographers and designers, this book is a collection of those works. Packaged with unusual cover, typeface and paper it lends to Bjorks unique way of doing things, always looking for a different angle while bringing the best of the best together under her name.
Unfortunately the book doesn't live up to those standards. I would have liked to see a bit more work, the non-gloss paper makes it hard for the photos to stand out quite the way they should and there simply isn't enough of Bjork herself in there. It is, in the end a small collection of other peoples works.
The only time you hear from Bjork directly is as interviewer of David Attenborough, which itself talks about their reactions and thoughts to other things, not themselves. It feels like Bjork is hiding behind other peoples ideas and giving as little of herself as possible. Does she hope to lend her inspiration, but keep herself protected?
The photos are a mix of works, from the A. fantastical (unearthly, inhuman, godlike) to the B. typical (Bjork looking pretty and quirky), to the C. real (Bjork the real person you might meet in the street) In my mind theres too much of B. and not enough of A. and C. We don't find out what inspired these works, what is it about Bjork that made these photos unique and worth collecting into this book. The fashions in particular are something i would have liked to learn more about.
The idea to give each image its own page and put the artists name on the back of the page is a little frustrating, you can't help feel you're getting half of what could have been included in the book. Nor am i convinced they only picked the best of the bunch, many of my favourites have been left out, while others that have been published many times were included. Of course, there will always be disagreement of what should and should not have been kept, but perhaps if the collection had been larger then i would not have been as disappointed.
The text is all worth reading, yet again i wish for more from Bjork, it is her book after all, though she seems content to let others speak for her. Rankin's essay is a good read and the many stories are interesting. But i'd trade it all (as would any Bjork fan) for a peek into Bjork's scrapbook of ideas.
I'd hope this book was part of a growing series, Bjork is surely not done yet and many more things worth seeing are sure to come. This book certainly doesn't feel very comprehensive, i don't feel much closer to Bjork and her ideas, or the ideas of the many artists that contributed.
in short, worth having, but only just. The book falls short of what should have been a luscious adventure that filled the senses (the way her music does). ...
51 of 58 found the following review helpful:
Save your money Dec 14, 2001
This book was probably the worst purchase that I've made in a long time. The story on the cover is beautiful and really captures the essence of Bjork. I was hoping for more of the same on the inside, but I was very dismayed to find that the book is mostly photographs with far too much whitespace (nearly half the pages in this book are blank). To add to the insult, there were photocopies of the CD album covers, which, when combined with the caption, spanned four pages. Any true Bjork fan surely owns all the albums and having photocopies of the album covers is such a filler.
To top it all off, a load of crud was yanked from the internet (including a very outdated survey) and thrown at the end of this book.
I was expecting so much more.
Bjork is amazing, talented, insightful, and beautiful. This book is not. You'd be better off going to any Bjork website. It'll have a lot more content than this book offers.
8 of 8 found the following review helpful:
A little skimpy for the price... Oct 09, 2001
By Jack Baur
I love Bjork as much as the next guy and more than most, and was very anxious for the release of this book, and of course I wasn't disappointed... per sei. The book is fairly light on content (only a couple of articles and a way outdated Bjork obsession quiz), a ton of pictures (though some of the pages between them are actually blank), and of course the 4 pages for freinds (some of which are very interesting, some are just sorta poinless). All in all, there's little INSIGHT, which is what it seems a book like this would be ideal for. And the pictures are of course beautiful in their artistry (and utterly stunning in their subject matter), it just seems like this book isn't everything it could have been and that, for the [price], it really should have.
16 of 19 found the following review helpful:
If Photos Will Satisfy You... Jul 05, 2002
Even though I'm a huge Bjork fan, this book still dissapointed me. The book is a collection of some wonderful photographs of Bjork, including many intimate and beautiful ones. For readers (not lookers), there is nothing to be offered - the editors seem to have felt that they should throw some arbitrary text in the middle written by arbitrary authors - and they really shouldn't have. The centre articles offer no insight into Bjork's thoughts or life; they are simply a collection of why the authors think Bjork is special (and who needs to know that!). After the halfway point, some very strange and "arty" pictures are included to finish off. Buy this book only if you are interested in some wonderful photo's of Bjork and if you don't mind the relatively steep price for what you're getting.
11 of 13 found the following review helpful:
This is Bjork-Artist extroadinaire Nov 25, 2001
When I first recieved this book in the mail, I thought, well this is good, but expensive, especially with so little reading. But then, I took a closer look at it. It is simply amazing. This is Bjork, a woman who shies away from the public eye, but presents to us a token of her life, but leaves it up to the onlooker to interpretate. If you look at each picture very closly, you will see the meaning and value in each of them. Bjork reinvents pictures themselves, instead of looking at young, thin singers prance around in practically nothing (there is only ONE interpretation to that) she shows how a collection of pictures and texts can unfold a life story. Ask yourself Who is she? what is she doing? Why is this important? in each picture, and new reasons will come to you. Along with beautiful pictures comes a variety of text, one almost like an alphabet of her mind. Also explained is the meaning of pictures-what they represent. Poems, exerpts from books, and an interview are also included. Even though Bjork shows only her back to the public, if you look deep enough, she expresses everything through art.
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