Jenny Hval explores the meaning of motherhood in the surreal new video for “Accident.” The track is the third single off Hval’s upcoming LP The Practice of Love, out September 13th via Sacred Bones Records.
Directed by Hval’s longtime collaborator Zia Anger, the video stars Anger’s mother Barbara acting out the lyrics to the song. “Once she was a mystery of life,” Hval sings. “Now she is skyping with her friend/They are both childless/It rings a hollow tone: childless…she found stretch mark cream in an Airbnb bathroom. It was just cream. Rubbing it on her belly, she felt nothing.” The message “Dear Jenny, I can no longer do this work” is typed across the screen, while metaphors for motherhood appear, including water running from a faucet and a cave representing a birth canal.
Hval and Anger were originally going to publish a dialogue in which they discussed their collaboration, only to postpone it to a later date because it “felt rushed.” “It’s a given that the product of some artistic work is worthless,” the duo said in a statement. “You are therefore expected to ‘mother’ it instead of working and being compensated for it. And sometimes this is the best kind of work. Because it doesn’t feel valuable. Because not everybody will like it, or understand it. Because it won’t immediately be sucked up into the capitalist scroll. It has time and space to be conceived of, to sit in utero, to be birthed, to have its umbilical cord cut, and to live, to breathe.”
“Accident” follows the previous singles “Ashes to Ashes” and “High Alice.” Hval will embark on a brief European trek following the release of The Practice of Love, beginning in Oslo’s Ultima Festival on September 20th and 21st. North American tour dates have yet to be announced.
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Whenever I make something with @jennyhval it always feels like we are coming from the ideas, rather than the ideas coming from us. All ownership ceases to exist, and for a moment we are just small inklings floating together. What a relief. In this case it was quite literal and I couldn’t resist making my beautiful Ma the main character. Enjoy “Accident” on the web today. TY to the smallest and wildest crew, ily! Cinematography @coreyhughes2020 Production design #audrey Editor @chrisosborn VFX @james_siewert_artwork Color @irvingharvey Mothers Performance by Barbara Anger