Monday, June 29, 2009

Want to see an exhibition?

Of course, there is some good capitalist analysis of Michael Jackson's career out there. After a thought-provoking if rather scattered article in which he perfectly articulates the lure of Off the Wall and "Billie Jean", K-punk quotes Nietzsche on the artist, whose natural state is not freedom of the neoliberal variety but obedience to laws beyond conceptual formation. He goes on: "dancing is precisely a question of subordinating the body to "arbitrary laws" - and eventually, after the punishing dedication that Jackson put in, that subordination yields an inspiration that grips and micro-directs the body." While such subordination does not necessarily threaten Dionysian art, Greil Marcus suggests that Michael's art stagnated. It's a question worth asking: when does a performance become too rehearsed to honestly be called dance? Where is the line between commitment to dance and commitment to spectacle?

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