Edited by Kristin M.S. Bezio and Kimberly Yost
Chapter 7: An idol leader: David Bowie, self-representation, otherness and sexual identity
In this chapter, Guenther discusses how David Bowie’s cultural production changed the way we see the world. Bowie’s prolific creative output breaches diverse cultural, political and individual boundaries—identity and sexual ambiguity, authoritarianism and revolution, apocalypse and messianic cultism, fanaticism and celebrity, futurity and intergalactic life—while suggesting the temporal solution of wild escapism, through drugs, alcohol, sex and, perhaps most importantly, art. While other musicians have used their celebrity for public leadership, Bowie used all facets of creative production and the establishment of his own microcosmic presence as the sources of his influencing power. His lyrics frequently allude to other cultural productions, and in turn, others draw on Bowie’s work as influences in their own music, as fragments of their own songs, and as important pieces that deserve homage.
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