What does a pop icon do when she’s still recovering from an intense world tour, not yet ready to deliver a new album, but still wants to contribute to pop culture in a way that matters, or at least looks like it does? Release an arty 17-minute video dedicated to a ‘revolution’ of sorts. But, oh, what is there left to revolt about, Madonna?
According to the artist, there is still a lot of prejudice in the world – be it against race, religion, gender, sexual preference, even art and freedom of expression. Hence she uses the latter as a medium to express all manner of odd imagery that, on first impression, appear to encourage said prejudice. She shoots scantily-clad women, decadently-dressed black dudes, in fact a Benetton-type collection of subjects (but do hang around for the twist).
There’s also lots of kooky contemporary dance moves thrown into the mix; samples of that infamous speech by Martin Luther King; and of course lots of her own monologue – packed with so many clichés and idioms, you kind of she’s just get on with it and start singing a flippant pop song. In fact, after various styles of music weave in and out of the clip – Arabic, Classical, Trip-Hop, and some kind of distorted national anthem – you’re simply aching for some good ol’ electronic dance beats to kick in.
Madonna’s Secret Project (not so secret anymore; just count Youtube hits) would have worked better if it preceded a new single: even it would come across as blatant promotion. Oh, and if, quite frankly, it wasn’t so darn pretentious.
Madge does say one thing that’s quite pertinent, in an interview also available to download: “You think we’re a civilisation that’s moving forward but I’m sorry my friend, we are going backwards. The internet is giving us the illusion that we’re coming closer together – because we can instantly connect to people around the world – but we’re not because we’re becoming more intolerant. The consciousness of the people is not growing. We’re becoming instantly famous, but we haven’t worked for that fame – we’re just pressing a button.”
That said, we’re still not sure what it’s all about but it is forcing us to believe it.
Secret Project: Revolution is available as a free download from www.artforfreedom.com and click here to view the interview.
But then you could always just watch them both on that digital platform of ‘democracy’ itself, Youtube!