So, I'm not one to comment on the times. Wait. Who am I kidding? Of course, I am! Anyway, I want to bring to light the new video just put out by the singer, Beyonce. For one, I think it's breathtaking. I think the visuals are fabulous. I love the way it creates this documentary feeling, then feels like a VHS video, then gets into these gorgeous almost tableau-like staging pieces.
Now, look, there have already been tons of think pieces about the song and the video. I won't do that. I can't say what an artist was thinking in the choices she goes with. I'm also not a critic and this isn't a class on media studies. What I will do is speak to what I see.
I will say that what I see is that she's using her power and her influence to create images that speak to the times. And that's what an artist needs to do. She's saying "this is my story and I want to share it with you." In our outrage-of-the-minute world, some may call this video divisive. I don't, though. I think it's strong, powerful, beautifully shot, well-choreographed, and says a lot in a short 3 minutes of time. It's a call to own one's identity, to be proud of who you are, and to stay true to your story. I think that's what really resonates for me.
Art needs to build us up. Art can bring a community together. The songs and images that we see should provoke, comfort, entice, excite, incite, gather, entertain. They should do so many things. This is one artist's view. There are many. There will be more. Let's celebrate the story she's trying to tell. And let's start talking about how it can bring people together to bring about positive change.