On My Radar: Lykke Li’s Cultural Highlights | Lykke Li

BBorn in Sweden in 1986, Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson is better known as singer and songwriter Lykke Li. She released her first album, Children’s novelsin 2008, and is celebrated for her gothic take on electro-pop and heartbreak, most notably in 2014 I never learn and 2018 so sad so sexy. His music has made the soundtrack of films, including Dusk and Blame it on our stars; she also starred in the crime thriller tommy and Song to Song by Terrence Malick. She released her fifth album, Eye, in May of this year; a vinyl reissue of the album was released in late November.

1. Concert

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar at Glastonbury, June 2022. Photo: Scott Garfitt/AP

He’s probably my idol – I think he’s the greatest contemporary artist we have. We were doing a lot of the same festivals, so I kind of followed him all summer. Then I went to see him at The Crypto in Los Angeles, which was special because it’s his hometown – the energy from the crowd was insane. He’s a real master: he masters his job so well that he doesn’t miss a beat. At first it was controlled, restrained, then the show built until it was like an explosion at the end. It was inspiring to watch.

acts of desperation

2. Book

Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan

I read that in one go. It’s about a relationship: at first it’s obsessed and desperate, then it becomes destructive. I found it raw, honest, brutal and real – it shows how much we suffer just at the thought of having love in our lives. It’s refreshing to read a woman’s point of view, describing the complex relationship we have with our bodies, food, sex, and how easy it is for women to descend into this spiral of obsession and despair.

3. Documentary

The most beautiful boy in the world (real Kristina Lindstrom and Kristian Petri, 2021)

Director Luchino Visconti with Björn Andrésen on the set of The most beautiful boy in the world
Director Luchino Visconti and Björn Andrésen on the set of Death in Venice in 1970. Photography: Mario Tursi

It’s a documentary by two Swedish directors about Björn Andrésen, who played Tadzio in Death in Venice when he was 15. Luchino Visconti searched for the most beautiful boy in the world and found this boy in Sweden. The film follows his life, which included a lot of tragedy, and how he became this huge star in Japan. It’s a very interesting and moving take on male beauty and it stuck with me for a long time.

4. Choreography

Imre and Marne van Opstal

Eye Candy by Imre and Marne van Opstal.
Eye Candy by Imre and Marne van Opstal. Photography: Camilla Greenwell

Theo [Lindquist], with whom I made all the videos and illustrations for my latest album, showed me their work and I was flabbergasted. They’re siblings, so they work on a subconscious, intuitive level, and I’m captivated by their work: it’s human, complex, and emotional. There is a particular movement in their show Baby don’t hurt mewhere she stands on her head and he holds her and spins her around, it’s just the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen.

5. Arts

Wolfgang Tillmans: To Watch Without Fear at MoMA, New York

Fearlessly watch the MoMa
“Full of sexuality and beauty”: to watch the MoMa without fear. Photography: Emile Askey

I just saw this show in New York. I love Wolfgang Tillmans’ work – it’s so personal and direct and also full of sexuality and beauty. I loved the way it was hung: it was a whole floor, with small photos and large photos stuck on the walls in a rather random way, and video installations. I’m still drawn to people and nudity, for some reason. I just think the body and people in general are so beautiful.

6. Restoration

Brutalist, Stockholm

The Brutalist Restaurant
The restaurant Brutalisten by Carsten Höller. Photography: Rob Schoenbaum

My friend Carsten Höller, who is an artist, opened this restaurant in Stockholm. The concept is brutalist: the decor is modern, with a huge stainless steel bar, and the food is just one ingredient, like corned beef or raw peas or a fried egg. It tastes like the ingredient, which comes through in its simplicity – it doesn’t hide or be covered in other flavors. I love eating this way, i.e. focused on the product and without adding a bunch of zuzh.

James C. Tibbs