This is a post from the weareoca.com archive. Information contained within it may now be out of date.
Since the release of David Bowie’s greatly anticipated new musical works, and his collaboration with the contemporary artist Tony Oursler on the video for the single ‘Where Are We Now’, I have been considering the relationship between art and music. Some might say that the contribution of fine artists in musical production is an aside, that through its use on album covers, posters and music videos it is simply a way of promoting the music group/individual’s work after it has been finished. That it is simply decoration. I however am not sure that this is true. There seems to be an interesting shift in attitude towards art and music’s relationship, as the Oursler video appears to indicate. Oursler is known as a fine artist, his work has been exhibited all over the world at an eye-wateringly long list of galleries. The Bowie video feels much more like a collaboration between musician and artist than it does superficial promotion. There are some notable long standing relationships between musicians and artists. The artist and writer Stanley Donwood (aka Dan Rickwood) has designed all of the album artwork for the band Radiohead since 1995, which feels more like the artist as an extension of the band. And then there are artists that produce their own music.
An interesting example is David Shrigley’s record ‘Shrigley Forced To Speak With Others’ produced in 2006 by Azuli Records. An extension of his artistic practice through music. So, really it would seem that art and music’s relationship is a lot more complex than just simple promotion, and if more artists and musicians choose to work together like Bowie and Oursler, we could see some very interesting work developing.
Top image = David Bowie video still
Second image = Radiohead (Dan Rickwood)
Record = David Shrigley