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  • The Performative Subject and the Problem of Authenticity in the Aesthetics of Glam Rock: A Case Study of the David Bowie Album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars"

Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Denis Litvishko
The Performative Subject and the Problem of Authenticity in the Aesthetics of Glam Rock: A Case Study of the David Bowie Album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars"
Cultural Studies
(Bachelor’s programme)
8
2019
The concept of authenticity is of great importance in the context of popular music. The question of which category the artist belongs to, whether to speak of him as “authentic” or, on the contrary, “inauthentic”, is an important part of the process of musical orientation. Labeling a performer as “authentic", we put certain aspects of their musical output above others. The aesthetics of authenticity of musical experience has a great influence on the formation of musical tastes and canons. However, depending on the sociocultural context, the content of the concept of authenticity tends to vary across a number of criteria.

The aim of the paper is to obtain a better understanding of how aesthetic judgments in authenticity are produced. One of the brightest stages in the development of popular music is the beginning of the 1970s, when such a musical direction as glam-rock originated. Its representatives and founders intended to break with the norms and values of countercultural communities that had grown around psychedelic rock. Indebted to the psychedelic aesthetically, they nevertheless opposed the values of psychedelic rock working within a new cultural paradigm. During this period, the question of authenticity stood out for those who were interested in the rock scene. Our research into the nature of musical authenticity and its discourses is centered around a case study on David Bowie, one of the founders of glam, and his album “The Rise and Fall of the Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” (1972).

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