Ain’t No Fuckfest: Kanye West’s “Famous” Aftermath Pornography

“In its most simple language, the visual elements of the video with all the famous people lying naked together on one giant bed asleep points at an aftermath pornography-a vehicle in which you are shown surface, but not the action. It is a grand teaser of post-affect and that is the simple part”

I do not care if you like Kanye or his music, but if you are not realizing the genius surrounding his product empire, you may be guilty of overlooking what is actually on offer. Kanye’s “Famous” is an example of his genius that may look like a simple eye-catching “shocker” and it would be fair to say that it is, of course, self-referential like many of his ideas. This is not to be downplayed. What Kanye does best is to hold a tarnished mirror up to society through his videos, speeches and general kanye-isms. In its most simple language, the visual elements of the video with all the famous people lying naked together on one giant bed asleep points at an aftermath pornography-a vehicle in which you are shown surface, but not the action. It is a grand teaser of post-affect and that is the simple part.

Famous is a perfect example where Ye is taking this mirror and giving society what it wants-desire, attraction to fame and the puerile distillation of a struggle within the global impending collapse whose sole focus is the self-referential. The point of displaying all the bodies in the video from Trump to Taylor Swift is to play on the thinning veneer of what humanity is at its current base. It is about voyeurism, it is about seeing the unseen in the lives of the famous and gratifying this vision down to the core of the simulacra. That the bodies within the video do nothing but twitch and sleep is a paramount endeavor to allow the viewer to cast its collective gaze over the hysterical nurturing that fame provides the non-famous who desire to be intimate with the architectures of surface empires.

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When Ye spoke after Bowies death about his candidacy to carry on the latter’s work and legend, you could not imagine a more perfect shrine to Bowie’s “Fame” than that of the “Famous” video, where bodies lie dormant palpitating like some field of synthetic cocoons waiting to hatch into cloned monstrosity-an invasion of the true body snatchers are the viewers who distill the people within, follow their everyday lives to embolden a presence they do not have as a non-famous entity. To say Ye “made” the subjects within the video is also not an understatement-notably Taylor Swift whose countenance or lack of Ye boldly declares in unlawful carnal lyrics within the song itself.

“This is the greatest function of people like Kanye-to point out within the game the problems of the game and to hold that mirror back at the viewer casting a grimacing light back at the spectator whose only option is to re-direct those pins back at their tired and ignorant selves until they can prophesize their own metamorphosis from the problem itself…”

We live in a world on the precipice of collapse-fame, desire, and an aversion to holding the mirror back on ourselves often puts veracious cultural commentators like Kanye in the firing line for expressing these uncomfortable notions of grandeur for what they really are –cynicism of life under the magnifying glass held by an audience whose only function is to tear down the butterflies beneath the glass pushing pins into the carapace to hold them to a board to be mounted in a frame and hung on the wall where the spectator can remind themselves of their false importance they embody when casting a glance sideways on their way out the door to find new larvae to consult. It is a cyclical structure and for the most part, the true observation of people like Kanye gets passed over because they are uncomfortable.

This is the greatest function of people like Kanye-to point out within the game the problems of the game and to hold that mirror back at the viewer casting a grimacing light back at the spectator whose only option is to re-direct those pins back at their tired and ignorant selves until they can prophesize their own metamorphosis from the problem itself to the freedom of holding court with their own narcissistic values. “Famous” is a simple stroke of blatant genius shoveling the inconsistencies of a world that over-examines everything but the root cause of the problem-themselves. Again, I don’t care if you like Ye or his music, but to miss the point entirely and put this video in particular down to his ego is not only repugnant, ignorant and backwards, but betrays the greater work of an extraordinary shrine builder and destroyer. Long live YEEZUS!

 

 

(All rights reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm.)

 

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