It’s in August 2013 that Lady Gaga performed for the first time ‘Applause‘, during the ceremony of MTV Video Music Awards. The lead single from her fourth album ‘ARTPOP‘ installs directly to the 6e place of the Billboard Hot 100. The song ‘Applause’ is about Lady Gaga’s complex relationship with her audience and her quest to acknowledgement and appreciation for his music. The lyrics talk about the duality feelings that come with fame,admiration and the desire to pleasebut also the pressure and the resulting expectations.
To illustrate her words, Lady Gaga uses Inez van Lamsweerde And Vinoodh Matadin for the music video for the song (“Inez & Vinoodh” in the middle), a couple of fashion photographers. The clip is very visually charged and reflects the theme of celebrity and performance. We see Lady Gaga in a series of eccentric outfits and makeup, illustrating different characters and identities. The clip plays on the idea of public image and Gaga’s steady transformation into a cultural icon. The visual aesthetic of the clip also mixes elements of fashion with references to contemporary art.
At the time in full glory, Lady Gaga is surfing on the success of her ‘Born This Way‘, the singer comes with the clip of ‘Applause’ to reinforce her rivalry with Madonna. The video is indeed full of black and white allusions to the song’vogue‘ of the queen of pop released in 1990. And that’s not all, since some black and white passages even evoke the German expressionist cinema of the 1920s ! Further, Lady Gaga goes bare while wearing a headgear that evokes the character of Death in ‘The Seventh Seal‘ from the Swedish filmmaker Igmar Bergman. A passage in color where we see Lady Gaga with makeup smeared on her face refers to the Joker of Heath Ledger. For much of the clip, Lady Gaga is seen dancing in a bra shaped like two black gloves, a reference to the controversial cover of Janet Jackson for Rolling Stone Magazine in the 90s. Towards the end of the song, the singer literally transforms into a black swan, a reference to the famous ‘black swan‘ with Natalie Portmanreleased three years earlier.
Finally, many feel that Lady Gaga is having a subliminal message to her fans during the passage where the singer comes out of the hat with a green jacket and a hairstyle worthy of a secretary of state: vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 ! The former presidential candidate was famous, and often swept awayfor its many green suits.
Want to see Bradley Cooper’s excellent ‘A Star is Born’ again? Head to the Proximus VOD catalog. On Netflix, we also offer the documentary ‘Gaga: Five foot two’. Learn more about the ‘Pickx All Stars’ TV option (with Netflix) or on Netflix at Pickx.