But that doesn’t forgive my lack of updating. *self-flagellates* I am teaching and working in two Writing Centers (one of which I’m helping to build from the ground up) and still trying to get something arted on occasion.
Not that that’s happening as much as it should. I totally blew off sending a submission to Craftforms yesterday ’cause I was too damn knackered to think. But! Here is something thinky about art in a round-about way. My Comp I class is writing a Visual Analysis Paper about music videos and this is some information that I put together for them as an example of the types of readings possible.
Hopefully, they’ll use the information.
There are another 3 vids that I need to collect information for, but that’s waiting ’til tomorrow ’cause I’m a mean, old lady that’s only had about 4 hours of sleep after a nearly 60 work week. I’m being purposely vague ’cause I don’t want to give them all the answers or anything; I just want them to think a little.
Amos, Tori. “Sleeps with Butterflies.” The Beekeeper. Epic, 2005. Music Video. Dir. Laurent Briet. VH1. 19 Sept 2008.
Although Laurent Briet’s main influence for this video was illustration, the illustrator that he most cited is the Japanese, superflat artist Aya Kato. Until recently, the majority of Aya Kato’s work has been lush and vibrant referencing Art Nouveau and merging it with Japanese popular art forms such as manga and anime, which originate in the Edo Period and was added to by the introduction of “pie eyes” by Disney post-World War II. The subject matter of Aya’s work often focuses on fairytales creating through her interpretation a recursive metanarrative that includes elements of all possible versions of a fairytale with her own twisting, transforming images which turn Little Red Riding Hood from a scared girl in the woods into a highly sexualized girl who appears to be trysting with the wolf.
The aesthetic of “Sleeps with Butterflies” is as much about a musical style that is reminiscent of the 40s, jazz clubs, and Big Band music as it is Aya’s illustrative work and the pieces that are directly, visually quoted. For Tori Amos, “Sleeps with Butterflies” and the rest of the songs off of The Beekeeper are about religion and spirituality, mythology and political manipulation (“The Beekeeper“). Particularly in “Sleeps with Butterflies”, there seems to be a distinct connection between the imagery and narrative and the myth of Eros and Psych, especially since Amos herself seems to become a neo-Psyche in conjunction to her absent Eros who has flown away from her because he is “having regrets about last night” (Amos, “Sleeps with Butterflies”).
blink-182. “I Miss You.” Blink-182. Geffen Records, 2003. Music Video. Dir. Jonas Akerlund. VH1. 19 Sept 2008.
The imagery from “I Miss You” is an amalgamation of horror movie and silent movie motifs such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show‘s lightening illuminated castle, the ubiquitous Frankenstein’s mansion-laboratory that produced the Monster and The Bride, the Bram Stoker’s Dracula-esque garden mazes and orientalized, predatory women; a coloration and texture similiar to Nosferatu, and Gothic‘s surrealist nightmares. In addition to Director Jonas Akerlund’s chosen imagery, blink-182 appears as a kind of 50s-60s pop band–clean cut, in suits, and mostly acoustic–while the lyrics reference Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas characters Jack Skelington and Sally.
REM. “Losing my Religion.” Out of Time. Warner Bros., 1991. Music Video. Dir. Tarsem Signh. VH1. 19 Sept 2008.
Director Tarsem Signh, who also directed The Cell, seems to draw much of the imagery for “Losing my Religion“, which is a Southernism for “at my wit’s end”, from art and literature. The Daedalus-like winged, old man is drawn from the Gabriel Garcia Marquez short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” while the tableaux that are created around him are based upon Carravagio’s paintings Deposition from the Cross and The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, sometimes called The Doubting of Saint Thomas. In addition to Carravagio, Signh borrows imagery from Soviet propaganda posters, putti, and Hindu art, in particular imagery of Parvati and Shiva, as well as stylistic concerns from the French photographers Pierre et Gilles. While Signh’s interpretation of Pierre et Gilles’ work inundates this music video, Signh seems to be directly quoting their Sebastien in the scenes that depict Saint Sebastian. Although Saint Sebastian is often depicted as pierced with arrows, this seems to be an interpretation of Renaissance artists and may be connected with his status as the patron saint against plagues (Löffler, “St. Sebastian). This connection to plagues creates a possible link between Saint Sebastian and the Greek god Apollo who was a god of medicine, which also meant that he was a god of plague. Like Saint Sebastian, Apollo’s imagery and symbols included the arrow, yet where Saint Sebastian was pierced by them, Apollo wielded them in order to bring death to mortals as he did to Niobe’s sons (Leadbetter, “Apollo”).