Focusing on music videos for the songs “Scott Street” (Alex Lill; 2018), “Savior Complex” (Phoebe Waller-Bridge; 2020) and “I Know The End” (Alissa Torvinen; 2020), this text will explore the aesthetic/thematic recurrence of a self-objectification process in the videography of singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers. Specifically, the way – through sheets with eyes reminiscing ghosts, skeleton suits, countless people emulating her physical traits or “past/future” identity splits – that she sees herself being seen by others.
In an individual end of the world, in which the artist can be no more than a spectator, this projection as another “I” does not serve a utopian narcissistic function (in a ingenuous “happy ever after” sense), but rather works as a self-commiserative frustration. That is why her own work and her own persona portray Phoebe Bridgers as some kind of instrument with a dark purpose, turning her into an abject object. Such imagery is also seen in the use of psychological disorders that she attributes to herself as song titles and descriptions – from “Savior Complex” to the imposter syndrome in “Kyoto” – or in the employment of lyrics to express her intimate perpetual apocalypse – “I’ve been running around in circles / Pretending to be myself ”.
Coming from the said self-objectification mechanism, in a discography/videography where the idea of “home” is a constant impossibility for the self, the singer-songwriter eventually finds a performative one.
Este trabalho encontra-se publicado com a Licença Internacional Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0.
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