Let’s get right to it. We’re all bored of music videos consisting of the singer(s) staring into the camera and lip-synching. It takes away from the art of the music – and that’s where the brilliant work of Chris Cunningham comes in. Cunningham’s simple yet intricate direction of Björk’s ‘All is Full of Love’ makes the song as beautiful to watch as it is to listen to. I mean – what’s more stunning to watch than young robot love?
The premise of the music video is ostensibly simple: Robot Björk gets off with Robot Björk. It’s RobotBjörk² . It’s juxtaposition at its finest. Robots? Love? It’s something impossible that perfectly captures the ‘self-love’ theme that thrives under Cunningham’s direction.
On my first watch I was… well, confused. Why was I watching robots ignite their spark? On my second watch, I noticed the beauty. These two monochrome robots were learning how to love. The irony of it is dazzling.
You’ll be given love
You have to trust it
But, I began to think – this goes deeper than Björk’s unearthing of self-love. Only one BjörkBot was initiating intimacy. The other BjörkBot merely assented to it, perhaps moved a robotic arm ever-so-slightly now and then – but didn’t love back.
Thus, I’d argue that Cunningham’s work is an allegory for how Björk is learning to love herself but can’t quite return that love.
Your doors are all shut
All is full of love
Additionally, the music video goes against the idea of heteronormativity, unlike the majority of pop videos; both robots have distinctly feminine bodies. Not only is this lesbian representation incredible for inclusivity, it feasibly could be argued it plays on the sexual nature of pop videos, as it draws on the premise that heterosexual men are often attracted to lesbian sex. This idea is indicated furtherly – and crudely – by a shot of a cylindrical object releasing a milky-white substance. I’ll say no more on that.
In all, Chris Cunningham’s sensational direction of Björk’s ‘All is Full of Love’ emphasises what Björk truly is: an artist. Someone who cares about how her creations are presented. The song is beautifully haunting enough on its own, but paired with the music video, it is far from robotic.
By Isabel Tyldesley