Background: On 28 March, 2011, Gaga Stigmata published a piece by Roland Betancourt that explicated “fragments” of “Judas,” which was still unreleased at the time, save for a few lyrics. Roland analyzed the fragmented lyrics, as well as Gaga’s costumes, interviews, tweets, and performances leading up to the production of the video for “Judas.” Included with his piece was an image of an icon of St. Theodosia. As Roland has since pointed out, this very image of St. Theodosia appears to be a prototype for Gaga’s costume that she wore for the scene of the “Judas kiss” in her video.
Definition: Gagagraphy is the branch of Gaga studies that seeks to identify, describe, and interpret the content of images depicting Lady Gaga. A Gagagraphy studies all the various components of an image of Gaga, mining for meaning the image’s positioning of its figure, her gesture, her costume, her props (animate and inanimate), her facial expression, her makeup, etc. A Gagagraphy also studies potential visual precursors to images of Gaga, seeking to understand from where Gaga’s iconography draws its inspiration, its influences, its visual quotations. Gagagraphy often necessitates comparative analysis, drawing meaning from the exercise of comparing and contrasting Gaga’s images with her visual influences.
Directions: Meditate upon the following images of Gaga, taking into account their various components. Then compare and contrast Gaga’s images with the icon of St. Theodosia. Leave your analysis in the comments.
Fashion Credits: Catsuit and headpiece by Perry Meek and Haus of Gaga; Red Faux Fur by Adrienne Landau; Cross ring by The Dragon Lady; Lipstick Gun by Haus of Gaga; Fashion Director, Nicola Formichetti
Below: Icon of St. Theodosia (13th century, Byzantine); located at St. Catherine’s monastery at Sinai.
St. Theodosia, the Defender of Icons – so called because she was executed for protecting the image of Christ, which stood over the Chalkè Gate in Constantinople (19 January, 729).
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