Saturday, 24 March 2007

"The artists body as gravity makes itself its master"

Artist, Bas Jan Ader

Untitled #5 by Lonely Planet Girl

Aside from the prototypical images of the pop star, there was always something a bit ridiculous or indeed tragic, about some of Morrissey's poses that always managed to slap me around the metaphorical face. They were of course poses; both for the photographic image and the live performance.

I was intent on finding a particular image captured whereby he is draped across an amplifier on stage at a live concert. He was upside down if I recall. Anyway, he would do this quite often in his younger years, during an unspoken chorus or the fading out guitar solo of a song. We were never quite sure why he did this (he was probably just taking a breather) but it certainly dramatised the event.

Being the 'anti-pop star', throwing himself into the audience was never an option. Presenting himself as an 'object' to his eager and willing fans however, was imperative. Fans then and still, 20 years on (and dare I say, 20 years older, heaven forbid) climb the stage to grab a piece of him. Meat maybe murder, but on these occasions it was raw, cold and waiting on a plate to be devoured by the most ardent vegetarians.

I realise this isnt the original image I was looking for or have even described, but the construction amounts to the same reading of performativity albeit without a chanting audience. What's strikes me even more is the surrounding context of the image. Whilst he is hardly tied to the train track (by a moustached villan as depicted in some of the old silent movies), he offers himself up as the victim and therefore as the culturally represented role in the female, passive postion. However, before I digress into some kind of queer analysis and ramble on any further, I just want to quote Morrissey's words describing the descent of popular music back in the 80's as "slowly being laid to rest" ...

Read as you will.