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Category: Music and Movies
Autor: anton 01 October 2010
Words: 640 | Pages: 3
Madonnaâ€™s Like a Prayer
The only rules that an artist goes by are the ones they set upon themselves. Artistâ€™s criticize current hot topics and sometimes explore their context threw the use of their imaginations. One very fine example of this is Madonnaâ€™s Like a Prayer music video at the time that it was released it was a huge hit on the music charts. Still today â€œ Like a Prayerâ€ is a very well known song. At the time of its release it was at the center of controversy with parent groups, church groups, mainstream media, and the government. Throughout the history of art this has been a reoccurring phenomenon that art can be offensive. My position within my group is I am a member of the media but I am neutral and am just interpreting the content and the implied context of the video.
Pepsi and Sears both wanted to pull advertisement support from MTV if they continued to show the video. One of the reasons for this was the controversial religious content and both companies are family oriented which they thought may have blemished their image. In the opening scenes of the video you see Madonna witness a crime and a black man coming to help the woman just in time when the cops get there. This man is arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is totally innocent and in fact was trying to help the woman. So Madonna goes to the church where she prays to the black Jesus, which also looks like the hero from earlier. Jesus was an innocent and sin free person wrongly accused of crimes he did not commit. This is the connection that Madonna was trying to establish with the black Jesus.
When Madonna dozes off on the church pew she has a dream of being in Heaven and then she is in front of burning crosses. Burning crosses are usually synonymous with the KKK. Here again I believe Madonna was not promoting the KKK obviously but she was again trying to establish the assault on innocence and the context of the burning crosses and the black Jesus fits in perfectly. The cross burnings symbolize the backdrop of hate and what prejudice can create. In this case it was white men attacking a white woman and black man coming to save her. Then the white cops automatically assume since he is black that he did it.
There is also the issue of the stigmata. What does that really mean in the context of this video? Well pain in general is bad especially when you donâ€™t deserve it such as the case with Jesus and the Hero people who were just trying to do good but got accused of something they didnâ€™t do. So when Madonna sees the stigmata in her hands she feels their pain. This pain is like a revelation that she can do something about the situation and soon she is awaken by the black Jesus kissing her. Which brings us to another controversy of the sexualizing of Jesus, which some groups have claimed this was symbolic of. The kiss to me is not Jesus being sexual with her but is of him letting her know it is now time to wake and go get the hero out of jail. Which is clearly demonstrated in the video.
Keith Harring once said, â€œ Art is just a vehicle of expressionâ€. For the audience it is up to them how they want to interpret what they see or hear. For anybody to outright write off this video as sacrilegious or even racist I would question how many times they had seen it. The fact is there are many parts of the video that contradict such accusations.
Madonna has created a masterpiece that explores racism, prejudice and innocence.