Rediscovering the day that Spike Jonze first met Björk

A new exhibition and zine published by WeTransfer unearths previously unseen photos Jonze took of the musician in the summer of 1995, just before they collaborated on her seminal music video It’s Oh So Quiet

Ask any creative who would feature on their dream dinner party guestlist, and there’s a high chance that Björk or Spike Jonze might appear. Renowned across the world for her innovations in music, Björk is also known for being an early adopter of many tech movements and for her continuing support of emerging creative talent. Jonze, meanwhile, first made a name for himself shooting music videos for the likes of the Beastie Boys and Fatboy Slim before graduating to the world of cinema.

As it happens, the musician and director’s first time meeting each other didn’t come in the form of a dinner party, but in the summer of 1995 in the days prior to shooting It’s Oh So Quiet – now widely regarded as one of the most referential music videos of the 90s.

All images © Björk by Spike Jonze

When cult 90s mag Detour discovered that Björk would be in LA for the promo, they asked if Jonze would shoot an editorial piece as well. He agreed, and went to meet the musician where she was staying at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood. Of the thousands of photos taken that day, only six were published, becoming classics in the Björk canon.

Following on from collaborations with the likes of Marina Abramović and FKA twigs, WeTransfer’s latest art project is an exhibition and digital zine that transports us back almost three decades to that first meeting via the series of previously unseen images.

The photos were only recently discovered by Jonze’s best friend and regular collaborator Humberto Leon, when the director asked him to help reorganise his archive. The designer, creative director and restauranteur is best known for founding fashion brand Opening Ceremony, and was co-creative director of Kenzo when Jonze shot a brilliantly bizarre perfume ad for the brand in 2016.

“When I came across these photos at Spike’s I knew, as a long-time fan of both he and Björk, that they were special and needed to be seen. I remember being a college kid and seeing the originals in Detour, they were instantly iconic to me,” says Leon.

When he reached out to WeTransfer’s VP of Content Holly Fraser about the unearthed images, she jumped at the opportunity to give them a new life. “The contact sheets alone evoke such nostalgia. After a bit of brainstorming we settled on creating an exclusive downloadable zine, designed by Spike and Humberto’s collaborator Su Barber, to ensure that everyone could access the photography, not just those who are able to attend the physical exhibition,” she tells CR.

The show, which is on display at Leon’s LA restaurant and gallery Arroz & Fun, will also include a limited number of physical copies of the zine, which features over 25 photos and a candid conversation between Leon and Jonze about the very first day he spent with Björk.

“As soon as I met her, it was instantly natural,” says Jonze. “But before that, I thought she’s sort of mythical, or you don’t know who she is. She’s this mystery from another dimension or something. And then as soon as I met her, I was like, ‘Oh no, she’s just this awesome Icelandic girl from a punk band’. Our friendship still sort of meets at that place. She’s just this Icelandic punk who probably can drink a lot more vodka than, well … definitely can drink a lot more vodka than I could.”

The Day I Met Björk is on display at Arroz & Fun from February 15, and the zine is available to download at