Oh Land

Oh Land

The Dark Beneath the Bright

"When I lost dance I felt like there was no gravity, and I might fly away and disappear." Meet the young singer and composer Oh Land in this interview about finding your way through life and staying true to yourself.

The Danish singer-songwriter and record producer Nanna Øland Fabricius (b.1985) - better known by her stage name Oh Land - lives and works in New York City. In this interview she talks of her need for music as a means of tying together feelings and thoughts. She explains how she has always been very ambitious and energetic, with a high need to systematize and organize things.

In this interview Oh Land talks of her past as a professional ballerina, and about how long it took for her to accept that “your will isn't enough” - sometimes things just cannot happen the way you want them to. In Oh Land's case, she found music as she had to let go of the dream of being a dancer.

“Music is a way for me to really be in contact with the present,” Oh Land says and explains how music helped her get her feet back on the ground. “I needed something to tie my feelings and my thoughts together, and music is a very emotional language. It has the power of abstractions that words don't have the same way.”

Oh Land's first instruments were sounds from everyday objects. Sounds from her life. But “I never try to be an artist,” she says: “I don't think that way of myself.” Instead Oh Land wants to remain true to herself, and who she is.

Finally Oh Land offers some advice to other young artists: Don't let other people make your decisions. Work hard, keep insisting, and eventually people will know that you are serious. See things for what they are: “You are not a superstar, and you are not shit.”

Concert clips were recorded at Vega in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2013.

Oh Land was interviewed in Copenhagen, Denmark by Marc-Christoph Wagner.

Camera: Klaus Elmer og Nikolaj Jungersen
Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, produced by Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013.

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Ulay

    Advice to the Young

    “If you want and need inspiration – go behind the central station.” The iconic artist – and self-proclaimed anarchist – Ulay here advises young artists to avoid art institutions and to make works that meet their own needs rather than that of the audience.

  • George Condo

    The Artist at Work

    The mind of American artist George Condo has been referred to as a place where “Picasso meets Looney Tunes.” Watch him at work in his New York-studio where he draws and paints his take on a 19th century painting by Manet.

  • Ulay

    Under My Skin

    This is the story of legendary artist Ulay, famous for his collaboration with Marina Abramović. As a solo artist in search for his identity, Ulay’s radical works have pushed the limits of photography and performance using his own body as material.

  • Olga Tokarczuk

    I Absorb Stories

    Olga Tokarczuk – one of the most important Polish writers of her generation – here shares how she draws inspiration from others: “People tell amazing micro-stories or even bigger stories. I seize them, absorb them and transform them in my books.”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.