Faces without interiority: Music video’s reinvention of the portrait Cover Image
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Faces without interiority: Music video’s reinvention of the portrait
Faces without interiority: Music video’s reinvention of the portrait

Author(s): Tomáš Jirsa
Subject(s): Music, Visual Arts, Studies of Literature, Semiology, Aesthetics
Published by: Ústav svetovej literatúry, Slovenská akadémia vied
Keywords: "Face"; "Portrait"; "Opacity"; "Media-affective interface"; "Hiro Murai"; "Earl Sweatshirt";

Summary/Abstract: No matter how contemporary music videos differ across genres, aesthetic styles, and production background, they usually focus on the performer’s face. Exploring its opacity and agency, this essay argues that contemporary music video production replaces the face as an expression of the subject’s interiority and identity with a media-affective interface whose main function is to amplify the video’s work of audiovisual forms, performative mechanisms, and atmosphere. Through a close reading of the hip-hop video Chum by Earl Sweatshirt (dir. Hiro Murai,2012), I demonstrate how it generates the face as an audiovisual screen that absorbs, intensifies,and gives rhythm to both the moving images and sounds. Such desubjectification opens a way to rethink portraiture within the music video genre as a media operation undermining the traditional notions of representation, interiority, and identity in favor of unfolding its technological and affective links between sounds, moving images, and lyrics.

  • Issue Year: 11/2019
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 55-68
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: English