Norwegian musician and performance artist Nils Bech and fashion photographer Benjamin Alexander Huseby today premiere the video for Bech's latest single, 'A Sudden Sickness', on Dazed. Bech, who explores the tensions between art and dance, contemporary music and pop music in his work, enlisted the long-time Dazed collaborator to put images to his music. The fellow Norwegian went back to where he grew up, outside Oslo, and brought with him one of east London's most prolific club faces, Jeanette, to star in the video. Huseby's fine visual touch, Bech's ethereal music and Jeanette's presence make the video hauntingly beautiful.
The video was more about visualising an inner turmoil through interiors and landscapes, emotional landscapes if you like. I wanted the video to make the lyrics more ambiguous, rather than illustrating them. I wanted it to seem like Jeanette's character did the same walk everyday
Dazed Digital: How did you hook up with Nils Bech?
Benjamin Alexander Huseby: Nils and I first met over ten years ago at a rave at Blitz, a famous squat in Oslo.
DD: What is it about his music that you like?
Benjamin Alexander Huseby: The sincere emotion and his intense, but often heartbreaking live performances.
DD: Have you shot music videos before?
Benjamin Alexander Huseby: Yes, Von Südenfed's 'Fledermaus - Can't get it'. It was a video for a collaboration between punk legend Mark E. Smith and Mouse on Mars. It also featured James Jeanette as well as Andrew Kerton and Jonny Woo instead of the real band.
DD: What's the biggest difference to a fashion shoot?
Benjamin Alexander Huseby: That I was not holding the camera. I worked very closely with the lovely cinematographer Cecilie on all the framings and lights etc, but it's incredibly liberating being able to only direct and not think of F-stops, shutter speeds and focus - as well as the acting and story.
DD: Where is it shot, tell me about story line?
Benjamin Alexander Huseby: We shot at Henie Onstad Art Centre, a contemporary art museum on Høvikodden, a peninsula just outside Oslo, very close to where I grew up. The centre was built by Sonja Henie, a figure skater and Hollywood actress in the 1930s who was untypically glamorous for a Norwegian. It gives the whole place an aura of faded glamour, even though the space is one of Norway's most relevant art institutions. The video was more about visualising an inner turmoil through interiors and landscapes, emotional landscapes if you like. I wanted the video to make the lyrics more ambiguous, rather than illustrating them. I wanted it to seem like Jeanette's character did the same walk everyday....
DD: Did you know straight away you were using Jeanette for the video?
Benjamin Alexander Huseby: Since Nils is quite known for often writing autobiographic lyrics, we thought it was important to make the video not about Nils at all. And, though Liv Ullmann was desperate for the part, Jeanette was always our first choice, as he is kind of a physical embodiment of ambiguity.
DD: Got any more lined up?
Benjamin Alexander Huseby: I shot a short film with artist Lars Laumann in Ibiza called 'You Can't Pretend To Be Somebody Else - You Already Are'. It's loosely based around the vent of Nico's death over 20 years ago. It's been screened in several museums, galleries and film festivals and will shown at the ICA in London soon.
'A Sudden Sickness' is out on Fysisk Format, more info HERE