Friday, March 11, 2011


Wednesday night W.J.T Mitchell came to give two talks in Montreal. One at 12h30 at UQAM - Idolatry: Nietzsche, Blake, Poussin, and one at 18h30 at MAC - The Historical Uncanny and the War on Terror. In the second he talked about cloning terror, the phantasmagoria from the 19th century, and the viral effect images now have today - spreading like wildfire across the internet, being instantly accessible, even encoding time and place stamps on images to retrace where and when they were taken - which was the case of the hooded man, thought to be a terrorist who became the staple image for the war on terror and the ending of it (which will never happen). He said that it was thought this image could end the war on terror - are images so powerful that they could in fact end an entire world?

Transpose all this onto the mega pop queen transforming identity politics - Gaga. Her new video is literally a gagamagoria.
phantasmagoria is defined as: a sequence of real or imaginary images like that seen in a dream. in the 19th century there were phantasmagoria theatres where images of ghosts were projected onto smoke - they seemed to hang suspended in the air creating a dream like reality.
isn't it just this that gaga is doing? creating a race empty of prejudice, modeled after herself, the mother monster.

we live in gaga-magoria.

(image from Lady Gaga's new release "Born this Way")