Grimes in Full-On Urban Apocalypse Mode in New Video for “Kill v. Maim”
Written by Joe Mitchell
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During the mourning period for David Bowie, a period that will probably go on for many years, if not decades, few people, if any, made mention of his heirs. No, not the heirs to his financial estate, mind you, but his artistic heirs. Bowie was one of a kind. He was not only an innovator who created art from music, fashion, and whatever external objects he could get his skinny little white hands on, but from and of himself. He was a living, breathing, walking, running, dancing, prancing, preening art project 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, whether he was Ziggy Stardust, a Diamond Dog, the Thin White Duke, or the dapper blues fellow who transformed Stevie Ray Vaughan from regional royalty to international sensation by his merest touch. Not that the phenomenal SRV wouldn’t have made it by himself, but Bowie certainly accelerated the process.
Are there any walking art projects remaining in our midst now that Bowie has gone to that great catwalk in the sky? Certainly. Lady Gaga comes to mind, but another not only appears, but crashes through the walls of perception themselves. That heiress, of course, is Mlle Claire Boucher AKA Grimes whose mad mise-en-scène marauders – yes, you saw them in the video for “Genesis,” from her epic 2012 Visions album – are at it again with her latest visual offering for “Kill v. Maim” off of the Art Angels collection, which was released in November of last year. This time the Mad Max troupers have been transposed from the desert to an urban setting that looks like some vast anime version of Tron. The auto in which she and her posse ride at frenetic pace is no longer the shadowy indistinct shell from which they heave their swords, but a comically fuchsia open air SUV that could well be an out-sized Barbie mobile from which they writhe in ecstasy – pom-poms, apparently, optional.
Then the whole thing devolves into an apocalyptic orgy of blood lust and just plain old lust. Hey, who can blame Grimes and her brother, Mac, who co-directed the fiasco, for giving us a little voyeuristic thrill there near the end. You’ll know what I’m talking about. But what the hell is that they are running about there? Is that an abandoned subway station or just some sort of decrepit locker room? Who knows or cares? I certainly don’t. Grimes and the kids are bringing the apocalypse with cool little animations popping up in the corners from time to time. In Grimes’s hermetic world, the Chinese housing bubble has already popped, the banks and everything else that holds civilization in place have collapsed and there’s nothing but flesh, blood, and dancing before we all die. In fact, she she throws it right in our face at the end. How many times can she and her crew remake Godard’s Le Weekend with ample doses of Buñuel and Jodorowsky thrown in to make us dizzy? Again, I don’t know and I don’t care. She’s doing a fabulous job of it. Looking down from the celestial catwalk, Bowie is certainly smiling, and thinking to himself, “You go, girl!”