What we’ve come to particularly appreciate about Björk, is her ability to stare our stark, bleak reality in the eye, and then artistically interpret it into something seemingly so magical and fantastical. But with her particularly visceral 2017 single “Tabula Rasa,” it did appear as if she’d been philosophically pushed to the limit of late, and was coming out metaphorically swinging.
And despite the song’s pensive, ethereal sonics, her lyrics genuinely do not hold back in the least. Indeed, one can easily imagine them directed at any number of the so many cultivators of corruption and purveyors of perpetual injustice who are so perniciously choking our ideological air at the moment. “We are all swollen / From hiding his affairs / Let’s put it all on the table / Let it all out / It is time / He mustn’t steal our light,” Björk bewails with the force of a dozen hurricanes.
Now she’s released a rather hallucinatory new video for the single – and it is, as we’ve come to expect, like nothing we could have ever imagined. Directed by Tobias Gremmler, in it we see her floating, and relentlessly shapeshifting, as if unsure exactly what form to settle on. There’s an almost eerily beautiful quality to it all, as Björk appears part human, part flora, sprouting, and even seemingly giving birth, just as she utters the words, “Tabula rasa for my children.”
Of course, “tabula rasa” is Latin for “clean slate.” And considering the prodigious failures of men, it is surely time for a woman of her unstoppable force to step in and attempt to reset our reality.
“Break the chain of the fuckups of the fathers / It is time / For us women to rise and not just take it lying down / It is time / The world is listening.”
We are indeed, Ms. Guðmundsdóttir – we are indeed.