Jenny Hval

Jenny Hval

A Face Split Open

“For me there is a big connection between singing and sexuality, and there's also a connection in my lyrics between the mouth and the sexual organ.” Musician Jenny Hval writes experimental music, dealing with gender and sexuality.

Norwegian musician and writer Jenny Hval (b.1980) grew up in Oslo, and moved to Melbourne, Australia to study creative writing and performance. She has played in numerous groups, and released several albums under different names collaborating with various people. For 2013's Innocence is Kinky Jenny Hval worked with PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish.

In this interview Jenny Hval talks about how singing is connected to crying: “There are certain voices which make my body sing, make me feel touched, and creates a little cry in the body.” And about how singing has to do with sacrifice, giving yourself, cutting into yourself, and being open. The voice contains an otherness, while the music contains sincerity, Hval explains. She also talks about how the 2011 attacks in Utøya, Norway affected her music, and about how one of her great fears has been being a replica, a stereotype.

Jenny Hval also talks of how she felt a certain suspiciousness towards things that were considered female, such as singing, but has experimented more and more with the voice over the years. “Maybe its time for something really dangerous – making something that sounds like pop.” She laughs.

Watch the beautiful and provocative music video 'Innocence Is Kinky' by Jenny Hval here: http://youtu.be/64e9HKXyUes

Jenny Hval was interviewed by Marie Skibsted Mogensen at Louisiana Literature 2013

Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Mika Rottenberg

    What is the Connection

    The exceptional video artist Mika Rottenberg here presents her intriguing video installation ‘Cosmic Generator.’ Set on the U.S.-Mexico border and in a huge Chinese market, the work explores the collapse – or reinforcement – of distance.

  • Svetlana Alexievich

    A Human is a Scary Creature

    Nobel Prize-winning writer Svetlana Alexievich is known for her monumental non-fiction narratives exploring war and its aftermath in the former Soviet Union. In this video she discusses the role of the writer in a corrupted society permeated by money.

  • Eileen Myles

    A Poem Says 'I Want'

    “I think a poem really is a statement of desire.” Meet the legendary American poet, writer – and homosexual icon – Eileen Myles. In this video, she discusses the innate power of poetry and how to address the absence of the female genitalia.

  • Sambuichi

    One with the Earth's Cycle

    “Architecture should thrive like a plant.” Gain insight into the philosophy of a frontrunner in sustainable architecture, Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi, and hear how he created some of his unique, site-specific buildings.

  • Naja Marie Aidt

    What You Don't Want to Hear

    “Life’s fragility is ever-present.” Deeply moving video with Danish writer Naja Marie Aidt, who opens up about the tragic death of her 25-year-old son, and how she dealt with her overshadowing loss and grief through literature, gradually returning to writing.

  • George Condo

    The Way I Think

    George Condo was part of the 1980s wild art scene in New York. In this video, recorded in his New York-studio, the iconic artist shares his life-long love of drawing and thoughts on his artistic expression, which he describes as “artificial realism.”

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.

  • Bill Viola

    Cameras are Soul Keepers

    When video artist Bill Viola was 6 years old he fell into a lake, all the way to the bottom, to a place which seemed like paradise. "There's more than just the surface of life." Viola explains. "The real things are under the surface".

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Nick Cave

    The World is my Skin

    Have you ever wished that you could put on a suit which would open up the imagination and take you to the world of your dreams? In this video artist Nick Cave presents his wearable sculptures, the 'Soundsuits', made from discarded everyday materials.

  • Gerhard Richter

    In Art We Find Beauty and Comfort

    “I don’t really believe art has power. But it does have value. Those who take an interest in it find solace in art. It gives them huge comfort.” Gerhard Richter, one of the greatest painters of our time, discusses beauty in the era of the internet.