Friday, June 11, 2010

Alejandro by Lady Gaga. A Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On

Boy you'd think folks have shit their pants over the latest video by Ms. Gaga. Alejandro by Lady Gaga is fraught with symbolism, aesthetics and of course disputatious imagery. Katy Perry has called the video blasphemous. More than a few Catholics are having a problem with the use of rosaries, latex nun garb and crosses being used in the video as well. Not every Catholic (including myself) is offended and my bet is that many Catholics will eventually see that just like with Madonna's Like a Prayer video the religious imagery is part of the artist's spiritual and artistic expression. Oh and speaking of the Like a Prayer video, Alejandro is completely different with a different message, color palette and use of religious objects.

So just what is the message or meaning behind Alejandro? As an artist, Lady Gaga probably knows that all art is up for interpretation. She is also a complex woman who has had a lot to take in these last couple years, so it is no surprise the video is complex and heavy with possibly multiple paradigms. Here is what fashion photographer Steven Klein had to say about Alejandro:
“I had a vision and story for the film, she reacted to it, then we both collaborated. We shot in Los Angeles on April 30, 2010,”

“[It is] about a woman’s desire to resurrect a dead love and who can not face the brutality of her present situation. The pain of living without your true love.”

He also said:
"The religious symbolism is not meant to denote anything negative, but represents the character's battle between the dark forces of this world and the spiritual salvation of the Soul... Thus at the end of the film, she chooses to be a nun, and the reason her mouth and eyes disappear is because she is withdrawing her senses from the world of evil and going inward towards prayer and contemplation."

Personally I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about the video that I'm still working on and hope to post soon. I've watched it five or six times but need to go through it scene by scene to speak more intelligently about it. For now I'll just say that I love it. It's got a texture that gave me a visceral reaction. I felt it in my body. There are images that turn me on yet make me want to turn away. Here's an example...

Anyway for now just google Alejandro & Lady Gaga & video and see what you get. There are a lot of thoughts and I think what's great about the attention is how it speaks our zeitgeist. We are in a time that is more open and beautiful than ever. Yet there is an ugliness because we are still in early stages of certain types of awareness. Remember same-sex couples still can't legally marry... but at least now we can bring our lovers home to meet our parents. My two favorite posts on Alejandro so far are here & here. More later!!

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