It’s Oh So Quiet

Humberto Leon on curating Spike Jonze’s previously unseen photos of Björk
By Barry Pierce | Art | 15 February 2024

When you think of iconic music videos of the 1990s, one that will always come to mind is Spike Jonze’s video for Björk’s It’s Oh So Quiet. The bombastic song was perfectly matched in energy by Jonze’s Hollywood musical pastiche and marked the arrival of Björk as a mainstream artist. What is little known about the video, however, is that Jonze was also on commission for Detour Magazine to shoot images of Björk to accompany their feature on her. Jonze took thousands of photographs, only three of which made their way to the magazine. As for the rest of the shoot, it has lived in Jonze’s archive ever since.

That is until Opening Ceremony co-founder Humberto Leon was helping Jonze reorganise his archive and came across all of the images from the Björk shoot. Leon, being a Björk fan since the very beginning, immediately knew that he had discovered the Tutankhamun’s tomb of 90s pop culture. Fast forward to today and Leon’s restaurant-slash-gallery space Arroz & Fun is currently exhibiting The Day I Met Björk, an exhibition of the unreleased Björk images. In conjunction with the exhibition (and in collaboration with WeTransfer), a zine of the images, which includes an interview between Leon and Jonze about the shoot, has also been released.

An amazing and rare glimpse into the world of Björk and Spike Jones, we just had to ask Humberto Leon all about the exhibition.

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Barry Pierce: What was it like coming across this trove of unreleased images and what made you want to make a zine with them?
Humberto Leon: Both Spike and Björk are huge inspirations for me and I wanted to share this unique project to celebrate their very special creative collaborations over the years.

BP: You’re good friends with Spike, but have you ever had a chance to meet Björk?
HL: Bjork and I met over twenty years ago at Opening Ceremony – she is an icon

BP: In the zine you mention how important It’s Oh So Quiet and its music video was for you – can you tell us more about that?
HL: The video is such a playful collaboration between both Spike and Björk. When it came out when I was in college, I remember being drawn to the natural, uninhibited happiness in the video. Now knowing them personally, the two of them are really fun, and I see that this video showcases all of the heart they have personally and artistically. Visually, it continues to be one of the most profoundly inspiring pieces of work for me in my creative life.

The Day I Met Björk is showing now at Arroz & Fun, Los Angeles. The accompanying zine is available to download through WeTransfer here.


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