Say what you will about Lady Gaga (she's important for feminists, she's anti-feminist, she's just downright confusing, etc.) but you have to admit that she knows how to put it out there. Her whole existence in the public sphere reads as a giant performance piece (the costumes! the bizarre behavior! the rumors! the extravagant videos!) so it's no surprise that she considers herself a performance artist. Well, Klaus Biesenbach, MOMA and P.S. 1 curator, has news for her: She isn't one. (Yes, apparently it is up to him to decide.)
Update! Margaret Doyle at MOMA sent me an email titled, "correction on Lady Gaga story"! Read on for the rest.
While the blogosphere is still wrapping their head around the epic Telephone video, Out Magazine got a hold of Heather Cassils, whose prison-yard smooch with Gaga is one of the most talked about portions of the video. A long-time performance artist, Cassils went to the "Telephone" audition on a whim, and the kiss she and Gaga shared was completely unscripted. While her interactions with Gaga are worth a read, Cassils also speaks about her art ("I use the fact that the image is live to try to capture and transfix people, because people can walk away from a painting.") representation ("binaries are dangerous across the board"), about the co-option of queer identity for pop stars. ("That's been going on since the dawn of time.")
In honor of the music video that is sweeping the virtual nation today, (it's Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's "Telephone," but I bet I didn't have to tell you that) a few of us here in the office got on our trusty GChat accounts and commented along with the video. Read what we had to say about transmisogyny, pastiche, and sandwiches – and leave your own comments – after the jump!
'It's not complicated, just a fashion statement,' said pop star Lady GaGa of the range of condoms she's designed with Jeremy Scott for the contraception brand Proper Attire. Well, the thing is, condoms are complicated, there's no getting away from it - perhaps particularly ones that come in bright orange, green and pink animal prints - either ribbed, studded or sheer - and are promoted as 'making women feel more comfortable buying, carrying and using condoms.'