Arca once made electronic music. Now she’s building worlds.



She described “KICK” as a series of “self-contained, legendary, almost world-building exercises that interact with each other,” in a video interview in mid-November, wearing a simple gray hoodie. . A mustard Telfar purse hung from a hook in the background, and at one point, her striped cat, Lain, jumped into the frame to say hello.

The visual universe of “KICK”, which includes the videos for “Prada / Rakata” and the album covers, is a dark technological dystopia, sculpted in 3D from close-up images of Ghersi’s body. There are robotic arms, power cables, fantastic beasts, and references to popular Venezuelan figure María Lionza, as well as cameos from Ghersi’s own paintings and calligraphy.

Ghersi’s vision for “KICK” unfolded after her 2017 album. Between projects, she began to identify as a non-binary trans woman. “I felt like it was something that needed some care in order to suffer slashes to survive sometimes. It just took up all of my RAM – this computation that I had delayed for so long, ”she said.

Some of his new tracks venture into the confines of mainstream pop, which Ghersi has flirted with more openly in recent years. (In September, she released her Lady Gaga’s official remix of “Rain on Me” and one of the tracks from “KICK ii” features Sia.) “The magic for me about getting involved in pop is that I don’t try to make a song that I think will please to others at the expense of an experience or sound that I love, “she said. “It’s actually creating a bridge for those with different aesthetic sensibilities or different backgrounds to come together in a shared space that pop can provide. “

This sense of communion is at the center of Ghersi’s work. She deeply thinks of blurring the barrier between spectator and performer, allowing audience participation to permeate her shows. During her 2019 performance series at The Shed in Manhattan, a three-night engagement called “Mutant; Faith“Arca wore hoof stilts, munched on her custom acrylic talons, and invited audience members to dance with her on a dirt surface that also acted as a stage.

Björk, who co-produced her own albums “Vulnicura” and “Utopia” with Arca, said she was extremely proud of her friend during the performances. “She improvised alone for hours, not two nights the same. Ready to make yourself super vulnerable, and therefore also super ferocious, ”she wrote by email. “It’s rare to have someone who has both emotional intelligence, high programming skill, performance and singing, humor and drama, gentleness and brutality. It’s easy to admire this hyperhuman!


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