Ryan McGinley directs for Sigur Ros

The Valtari Mystery Film Experiment

The Icelandic band Sigur Ros gives film-makers complete artistic freedom (and a modest budget) to create visuals for tracks from their newest album Valtari. There is more to come, but our fav so far is Varud, directed by star photographer and long-time darling of the art world, Ryan McGinley.

Rather than promoting specific tracks, with this series the band wants to discover what kind of visuals their music could inspire. So far, six creative minds worked their creative mojo, with each creator bringing his own aesthetic and subject matter, ranging from the NYC streets (McGinley) to meditations on changes (Arni & Kinski), and the dramatics of letting a beloved person go (Alma Har’el). The sometimes ethereal tunes of Sigur Ros gain depth and complexity from these artist’s interpretations. And the audience gets a wide gamut of feelings to explore and things to think about while listening to the songs. Will the video from the audience submissions (2 October) be able to establish similar connections with the other promos in the series?

What could easily have been a collection of disparate videos, are brought together by the unitary characteristics of the Valtari album. The music videos not only function independently but also in relation to each other. Will the video chosen from the audience submissions be able to establish similar connections with the other promos in the series?

Like said, we love and adore Ryan McGinley’s Varud – a music video that is as magical as it is unsettling. Set on the streets of New York City, we witness a young girl in a gold wig hopping down the streets, freezing time wherever she goes. She could be an elf, but might as well be a crazy person. We’re talking about New York here, right.

McGinley, the Jersey-born director who famously started documenting his friends (often in the nude and posing in nature), successfully mixes fiction with documentary, creating a video that looks like it was shot in “the twilight zone” or whatever you call that strange space-time in between dream and reality.

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