So the new Die Antwoord video seriously has Yo-Landi in full blackface and throwing around racial slurs like she’s not a whitey standing on colonized land. Super “freaky,” right?
It’s disheartening how queers will back straight, white artists as long as they present some “freaky” aesthetic. I’ve already written about Grimes and how frustrated I am that queers constitute her most rabid fanbase, despite the fact that she utilizes highly-problematic cultural appropriation under the guise of being “weird.”
We’re a target market and these artists and the business interests that back them profit from mining the queer subculture for signifiers to get us to latch on to the art of straight cis white artists (Madonna=Lady Gaga=Grimes). When you are putting your interests with artists who are essentially a mistrel show, you cannot create subcultural spaces that actively confront racism, heterosexism, cissexism, and capitalism.
What we’re moving toward is the same ironic disconnect we’ve criticized hipsters for. We replace materially confronting/destroying the structures of domination with extracting the most superficial aesthetics from actual revolutionary struggles. We substitute a recognition of how fucked things are with an aloof commodity fetishism.
Can we stop with the idolization any conventionally attractive, straight, white, cis “artist” whose emptiness is apparent when you strip away the artifice of “weirdness?” Can we support artists whose voices are excluded from the dominant queer subcultural hierarchy, and who confront the “art as business” model? With the amount of confrontational, anti-capitalist queer cultural production happening, the funneling of our money, time, and support into these business people masquerading as artists is unjustifiable.
I’m sick of talking about teen culture while people are dying and I’m sick of tolerating artists who dress up as the corpses.