Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’ is pop art must-see

"Pop culture was in art, now art is in pop culture … in me," Gaga proclaims in her long-awaited new single Applause.

It is a mesmerising compilation of artistic stills directed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, known for their work on fashion spreads for Vogue and Vanity Fair.

She rises out of a magician’s hat, splendid in a green waistcoat and digital fox tail, she is a corpse version of Marilyn Monroe, she is Neptune’s bride clad only in strategically placed sea shells.

If it all seems ridiculous, it’s because it’s meant to be. Pop is about the ludicrous and plastic and material. Pop art is about giving those things meaning.

Lady Gaga isn't everyone's cup of tea. She inspires stunning vitriol from her critics – some go as far as calling her the Antichrist. No doubt her apparent urge to become the new Andy Warhol will be met with smirks and sneers by the high-browed. 

But the so-called real art in musems will not be seen by the 15-million people that have seen Gaga's video since its release a few days ago. That may be an indictment on the supposedly uncultured state of the world, or it may be a triumph to Gaga's ability to appeal, inspire and grasp the idea of pop culture.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


Coalition politics and law: The fight over Tshwane

With coalition politics on the rise, particularly in local government, this kind of court case is likely to become more common

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Press Releases

Openview, now powered by two million homes

The future of free-to-air satellite TV is celebrating having two million viewers by giving away two homes worth R2-million

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday