Friday, September 4, 2009

Lady Gaga - Paparazzi

Lady Gaga is a pop artist who considers herself a "performance artist" and has obsessive control over all elements of her costuming, aesthetics, and performances. She's said publicly that this video was inspired by the death of Princess Di:

"It has a real, genuine, powerful message about fame-whoring and death and the demise of the celebrity, and what that does to young people. The video explores ideas about sort of hyperbolic situations that people will go to in order to be famous. Most specifically, pornography and murder. These are some of the major themes in the video."

It also stars Alexander SkarsgÄrd (Eric from True Blood).

Some questions for analysis: (post your thoughts in the comments)
  • What do you think is the main theme of the video?
  • What other media does Gaga reference?
  • How would you analyze the gender roles in this video?
  • What do you think of the crutch dance?
  • Do you agree with Gaga's assessment of her video? Do you think she is successful?
(Read the somewhat obsessively detailed description of the video at wikipedia.)


  1. aaaay.... for the past two days this song has been stuck in my head ALL THE TIME. It started to get annoying, but I just couldn't stop singing it inside my head.
    I was actually really surprised to learn that the video and the song itself were influenced by the death of princess Di. But as I watched the video again, and again, and again, I saw how it was a social commentary on how highly today's media affects our behavior (especially the behavior of famous people).
    The video itself is truly brilliant. From the unnatural length, to the full and clear storyline, to the wise and deep message Lady Gaga wants to send, finally to her marvelous costumes. Bravo!

  2. On The Use of the Term "Performance Artist."

    Joseph Beuys may have made a tragic mistake when he declared that "Every Person is an Artist." While his remarks can be justified within the context of his utopian ideology and life-long social practice, it seems that his willfull postivism has been appropriated to a point of non-meaning; in a recent company wide effort to increase costumer satisfaction Subway has outfitted their often disgrunteled, rarely insightful employees with new nametags that read "sandwich artist."

    While my intent is neither to compare Lady Gaga to a sandwich shop employee, nor to derail her "artistic merit" it should be noted that while she is unquestionably a "performer" and presumably an "artist" she is not a "performance artist" a term that denotes a certain critical tragectory which her work (as far as I can tell) does not demonstrate.

    Sorry to be such a prick about it, this is something that's been irking me for a while and I thought I'd share my grievences.