David Bowie or the brilliant transgression


David Bowie or the brilliant transgression
by Jean-Luc ROMERO-MICHEL
@JeanLucRomero
 
 
The man with the thousand faces , this is how David Bowie is described in the media worldwide .And for once, the media treatment reflects without any exageration or provocation the artist and the man David Bowie was.

Yes, David Bowie made a work of art of his body, as a journalist said yesterday. Yes , but not only that, and I will go even further : he made his body a manifesto, reflecting his multiple personnality, his inspirations and aspirations. He obviously did not care about labels of any sort. He did not want to represent anybody in particular and yet, paradoxically, he inspired hundreds of thousands.To understand him well and to apprehend the social significance, nearly Political (note the capital "P") importance of his work, one has to remember of the context in which he started: 1969, the year of the Stonewall riots.  Let us recall that to declare one's  homosexuality or bisexuality in those days  was considered an offence up to 1981 in France, the  country of human rights.

Is it exagerated to say that Bowie was a transgressive artist ? No, surely not and yet, he was recognized by everyone as a formidable artist with an enormous mainstream success, which cannot be denied : 140 million albums sold ! His record covers, his Ziggy character and so many other performances, which were full frontal opposition acts against the conventions of the time.

When the media still made no mention of the gender theory which was not yet the ridiculous and inaccurate target of the hate predicators, he already had torn it up into shreds ! David Bowie was a precursor, an unmatched precursor . An artist who imposed his convictions to the world and who did it through art, obliging us to question ourselves. And to change.  Art is undeniably a vector of change and mainly of social change. Perhaps more than any other artist, Bowie showed it and demonstrated it throughout his career . 

At a time where hatred of people who are different is getting stronger in France and does not shock anyone anymore, I sincerely think that the celebration of an artist who broke the gender barreer, refused any label and any prejudice gives me hope and should give us all hope.

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