Saturday, February 5, 2011

Serbian Ballerinas Dance with Machine Guns

I admire the passage below, from Jackie Wang's blog:

Some people have asked me what my opinion is on Lady Gaga and my reply has been mostly one of indifference. My criticism of Lady Gaga isn’t that she’s a “bad” feminist—it’s that she’s a capitalist hack who collects artists of color to increase her cred (gah). But I get the sense that most people who celebrate Lady Gaga for her performance artist schtick aren’t critical of capitalism. Counter-critics assert that Lady Gaga is not glorifying commodity culture but parodying it by offering herself as a “figurative mirroring or projection of consumer culture.” The problem with such an argument is that ironic derision, risk, spectacles, subversion, and transgression are all thoroughly integrated into the polymorphous techniques of capitalism and are indeed representative of its flexibility, its ever-expanding markets and its ability to appeal even to intellectuals, queers, feminists, and politicos of varying sorts. The “transgressive” tactics employed by Gaga produce what Michel Foucault might call an “incitement to discourse”—igniting blog posts, cultural criticism, theory which effectively produces the image of Gaga and generates value, meaning, and interest in her project while transgression-as-capitalist tactic remains obscured. 

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