Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gaga for Gaga or Is the Lady Conceptual?

Vanessa Place on the wunderkind over at Gaga Stigmata
What Gaga does is force a confrontation with our lack of theoretical apparatus for making sense out of our current no-nonsense. Postmodernism will not do, as it rests upon the gap for existence, and there’s no neo- for this confounding to return to. A kind of contemporary conceptualist frame works, if only because it leaves the encounter empty of direction save that provided by the one who encounters—Gaga is a concept, and as such, may be conceived any number of ways by those who choose to tarry with whatever portion of her fragmentary All. But then there is the Object, an object very much of design (a design, naturally, both equal parts designer and DIY: her “white Birkin bag covered with fan-created graffiti,” The disco bra from the ‘Just Dance’ video I made with my own two hands) and, while iterable, this site is neither fungible nor Fluxus. 
Can there be a female Warhol? If so, I think it's more apt to be Ms. Place than Ms. Gaga.
All Gaga wants of me is my time. My attention. To plug into those two inches of socket in my face. She just wants me to look at her looking at me looking at her looking at me, endlessly. We are made for each other. As Paglia rightly notes, Gaga is a star “of the digital age” who is “almost constantly on tour,” and her biography doesn’t quite synch up, and her erotics are an erotics of death, and thus, according to CP, un-erotic, although Paglia fails to obviously conjoin the obvious disjuncts, and, again stupidly complains about The Thing itself as the Thing itself...
Okay. Can there? Is there?

It's heartening to see a woman work the system with such panache. One of the things Gaga does brilliantly is bond with her little monsters.

and include them in the show. What's not to love about that?

Oh, and of course the Gaga machine isn't afraid to be political:

Though it didn't help in this case did it...


alex. said...

I've come to find the "little monsters" thing precious and alienating. Including viewers/listeners in music videos/performances/web content has become a routine marketing device for videos targeted at teens/early20s. See Justin Bieber.

As a queer person, I felt kinda awkward about seeing discharged gay soldiers sitting with Gaga at the VMA's. When is it a political statement and when is it a fashion statement? Am I old-fashioned for making a distinction between the two? Probably. But, if they're just sitting there, then, so what? It felt opportunistic and obvious.

In pop music now, Janelle Monae is *way* more interesting in terms of what she's doing with the music video as a short film as a political statement as a futuristic statement. Esp. her "Many Moons" vid:

Lemon Hound said...

Janelle Monae rocks.

Can there only be one?

Hope not.

VanessaP said...

I would make a distinction b/w preferred politics and epistemological hijinks. After all, one of the things that's fascinating about Gaga is how she is torquing the notion of the excluded--via pure conservatism. In other words, the American gay will become a full citizen by way of being more 100% "American"--believing more in marriage, military service, the importance of childbearing/rearing--than the (liberal) heterosexual American (divorced, childless/pro-abortion, anti-military).