"[Gaga Stigmata has] very modern, edgy photography to free flowing, urban narratives without censure to analytical essays, et cetera—like Gaga, imagination without ... limits. And the beauty is that anyone can submit work to the site, so artists and writers from all over the [world] have joined this experiment." -The Declaration.org

"Since March 2010, [Gaga Stigmata] has churned out the most intense ongoing critical conversation on [Lady Gaga]."
-Yale's The American Scholar

Friday, June 10, 2011

Critical Discourse & Facebook: Analyzing Lady Gaga on Germany's Next Top Model

Dear readers,

The following conversation began on our Facebook page, Thursday, 9 June, 2011. Many excellent readings were made regarding Gaga's performance on Germany's Next Top Model, and we welcome your analyses to continue in the comments below. But this conversation is also an interesting example of the kind of critical discourse that can be instantly generated on social-media platforms like Facebook, gathering together for a roundtable discussion people from all over the world, who may or may not know one another. Therefore, we are also eager to hear your thoughts on critical discourse and Facebook, especially in regards to twenty-first century epistemology.

Sex, Money, Vanity
x, o, x
Gaga Stigmata

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  1. OMG, I was just directed here from Twitter and I am so blown away. I was in the midst of writing my own analysis and I was so delightfully surprised that this existed. I understand the blog has already been posted but I must bring up someth...ing that I thought was interesting. When she said, “Beauty is a Lie,” and “I’d kill for Fashion,” I immediately remembered a speech she gave before the acoustic version of Poker Face, a long time ago. (Interesting: she gave an impromptu Poker Face performance singing scheiße in between some of the lines.) She said, "Have you ever loved something so much, you told a tiny little lie? A negative truth? And you believed and you loved your new invention so deeply, you would kill to make it true? Your visualization, your futurization, is all you have, so honor it. Some say that Lady Gaga is a lie... and they are right, I am a lie. And every day I kill to make it true."

  2. I think the Vanity guillotine goes with this part of "So Happy I Could Die":

    I am as vain as I allow
    I do my hair, I gloss my eyes
    I touch myself all through the night
    And when something falls out of place
    I take my time, I put it back
    I touch myself 'til I’m on track

    It links vanity and death - though "death by happiness", and is perhaps a precursor to the BTW lyric "I'm on the right track, baby".

  3. I share that fantastic Twilight Zone-like feeling from hearing Heidi Klum speak German.

    I absolutely love what you've all said so far. My own thoughts on the performance are all over the place:

    In the still above, the blade also functions as a mirror. Since the "Born This Way" video, when it comes to Gaga I can't think "mirror" without also thinking "vulva/vagina." If mirror = birth, does blade/death-mirror = birth of evil? Rebirth by (violent) force?

    The performance also begins with mirrors: both the mirror invoked in the lyrics of "Born This Way," and also the mirror sitting atop Gaga's piano (which Top Model's director so thoughtfully points out for us, with a shot zooming in on Gaga's reflection) creating a "musical vanity." We've seen the mirror on the piano in previous performances of "Born This Way," and I'm interested in the visual wordplay of piano-as-vanity-table—an "instrument of vanity," performing vanity, and so on.

    I am completely fascinated by Gaga's little maneuver with her microphone as she moves from "Born This Way" to "The Edge of Glory" and transitions from sitting at the piano to walking the runway. She takes the mic off its stand, places it between her legs, and draws it up her body before singing into it. Has she done this before?

    Regarding "beauty is a lie"—after my initial "what a statement for Top Model" moment, I immediately thought of a statement Gaga made in the Showstudio In Camera interview a little over a year ago. Responding to a question about her position as a "fantastic story-teller," she said, "I am telling you a lie in a vicious effort that you will repeat my lie over and over until it becomes true." The word "lie" is such a loaded one—and such a wonderful choice. She doesn't, for example, go to a "prettier-sounding" word, like "story" or "illusion" or "fantasy" or "fairytale." "Lie" is confrontational. And then, thinking of lies and German, I got to Große Lüge, but that might not be vomit worth honoring.

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