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Lady gaga

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Lady gaga

  1. 1. Lady Gaga and Postmodernity<br />Collected articles from the internet<br />
  2. 2. Lady Gaga - "Born This Way," Vertigo, Madonna, Hitchcock, Postmodernism, and Other Thoughts<br />Lady Gaga is probably the definition of a pop music postmodernist. True, postmodernist theory and philosophy hasn't exactly been applied to pop music in any definitive sense (yet...I'll get on that), but if we scroll down a list of some general postmodern attributes everyone of them smacks of Gaga:Mastery of pastiche (has anyone mentioned how much "Born This Way" sounds like a Madonna song? Not to mention Gaga's last two music videos are almost lectures on the history of the Madonna video. Then there are the throwbacks and references to Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, Elton John, ABBA, etc.) <br />Belief that art (in this case, pop music) not only exists in itself but that it can, does and should have relevance and even power in the cultural, social and even political contexts (Flambuoyant soldiers and topical issue of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" make for far more interesting music videos than the rejection and distrust of non-sexual interpersonal connection...hence "Alejandro")<br />Conflation of "high" and "low" in popular culture through the undiscriminating use of elements, tools, and means of presentation from both as a rejection of any distinction at all. (It's important to remember that Gaga is a performance artist at her base, not a musician...a fact useful to recall whenever she has you stumped)<br />References to and quotations of music from many different cultures and times (direct references like "Alejandro" (ABBA) or the occasional bits of foreign language that crop up here and there, although the latter is probably more influence by Sacred Heart than worldly inclusiveness)<br />Disdain for rigid structural unity and social norms (Little Monsters, just be yourself, etc.)<br />Self-referential art, i.e. metafiction (in Gaga's case, both specific references e.g. "I wanna *just dance* and "I'm a free bitch" in the song "Monster," referencing "Just Dance" and "Bad Romance," respectively; but also and mainly general references to dance, music, songwriting, and fame, e.g. "I love my life/I love this record" in "Born This Way")<br />The deliberate inclusion of the audience/consumer in some way (can anyone deny Gaga's effectiveness here?)<br />The rest of the article can be read at: http://www.vertigoshtick.com/2011/03/lady-gaga-born-this-way-vertigo-madonna.html.<br />
  3. 3. Lady Gaga – ‘Telephone’ and the Postmodern<br />After watching the now-infamous video twice, I’m convinced that it is indicative of postmodernism in every sense of the term. Pastiche. The video has it in spades. It references other forms of media (Tarantino, exploitation films, Thelma & Louise) left and right, while parodying none of them. This is because parody relies on an underlying normative standard, which postmodernism categorically rejects. Instead it merely shows the audience a barrage of media, almost a celebration of how clever the director is for cramming so many references into a single video.Consumerism. The product placement is obvious, but it is not portrayed as humorous. The camera lingers too long on each product, and the video knows it, but it still manages to avoid parody. Rather, the video uses these consumer images as an integral part of its aesthetic without any comment on their social context.Self-reference. The blatant product placement shows a self-awareness in the video, but this particular brand of ironic detachment harms the video’s ability to make any sort of overall message on its own. Instead it implies that celebrating consumer culture is fine as long as we’re appropriately ironic about it, but this is a largely unintended consequence of the video’s aesthetic.Appropriation of identity-based struggle. Lady Gaga is interesting for turning the male gaze back on men, and for portraying women as subjects rather than objects in her videos (albeit still scantily-clad subjects). However, the resistance to power on Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s part is purely individual and brief (it’s very telling that Lady Gaga is bailed out of prison rather than escaping) Behind this initial layer of feminism there is still an individuated desire to become rich, given that Lady Gaga was saved from prison by money. She maintains her glamorous image inside and outside the prison’s walls, an implicit message that “excessive materialism is empowering to women, somehow,” as Alyx Vesey observed. Therefore her kind of feminism is integrated neatly into the agenda of neoliberals, who love to talk about glass ceilings being shattered while heaping disdain on poor women. Incredulity towards metanarratives. Lyotard’s famous description of the postmodern condition applies even here, as it’s difficult to find an overall message or narrative in the video. There is a sequence of events interspersed with pop culture references and product placement, but little else.Most works of postmodern culture incorporate the ethic of postmodern philosophy with even less critical engagement than postmodern philosophers themselves, and in so doing implicitly endorse the status quo. This video is no exception.<br />

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