Lady Gaga's Alejandro video clip: Blasphemy or Art?

Christina Pomoni By Christina Pomoni, 19th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Music>Pop

If it’s blasphemy or art, it is subject to individual perceptions about religion, artistic expression and limits in art. However, there is no doubt that “Alejandro” blends religious symbolism with the shocking factor producing a video that raises spiritual oppositions.


When Lady Gaga debuted in 2008 with ‘Just Dance’ there was little doubt that she would peak all charts with her electro dance tunes, unique style and own fashion. By producing a purely innovative sound of addictive melodies, she managed to hook up the audiences around the globe and become the absolute pop phenomenon of the new decade. Her singles climbed up the charts one after the other, leaving Madonna thunderstruck. Until, Lady Gaga paid a tribute to Madonna with the release of her new video, “Alejandro”. Or is it just a blasphemous imagery that accidentally resembles some of Madonna’s greatest videos?

No Doubt “Alejandro” is Provocative

“Alejandro” is provocative. In the first 40 seconds, the video features men dressed in leather underwear, dancing in a military-marching style, while Gaga sits on her throne among Nazi-style soldiers, overlooking the dancers. In the next 40 seconds, we see a funeral procession. Gaga, apparently bearing her love for Alejandro under her black veil, holds the Sacred Heart, bleeds and hurts for the lost love. As the video progresses, the summer melody captures the senses, Lady Gaga cannot be with Alejandro, but we never get to know why for sure. Is Alejandro a gay figure? Is he someone to whom Gaga has been unfaithful with Roberto and Fernando? Why don’t know. What we do know though is that “Alejandro” features religious symbolism, homosexuality, and definitely shocking fornication over the next minutes.

Is it Blasphemy?

Dressed as a nun and holding a rosary, which later on she swallows as an expression of religious devotion, Gaga brings on the Catholic Church in “Alejandro”. One could even argue that the video conveys a message against the suppression of gay community by the Catholic Church. However, the meanings of the video are much deeper. By gulping down the rosary, the character that Gaga plays on the video gets unified with God who is represented by Alejandro. Alejandro is ashamed of this union and therefore he becomes a halo. She raises her head and talk to him looking at the sky, while hiding the wedding ring in her pocket. All these acts, possibly symbolize the holy union with God.

Later on, the video portrays inverted crosses on Gaga’s suit. In Christianity, Simon Peter requested to be crucified upside down because he didn’t feel worthy enough to be crucified like Jesus Christ, i.e. with the cross in an upright position. However, Satanism uses the inverted cross as a symbol of perversion and desecration. Moreover, the inverted cross in the video of “Alejandro” is located on Gaga’s genitals, clearly supersized and presented as a symbol of androgyny.

Other religious symbolisms are:
• The sign of benediction and blessing that is highly regarded by Catholicism for those who are considered Holy.
• The hexagram held by one of the dancers-prisoners in the opening militaristic march of the video. The hexagram is mainly introduced as a symbol of the Jewish religion, but it is also used as a cultural symbol of Occultism that studies a truth that exits beneath the surface.

All the above are enough for religious people to classify “Alejandro” video as pure blasphemy. Even without all this symbolism, simply because the video deals with religious symbols it can pass for blasphemy. Of course, Gaga claims that “I was raised Catholic. I believe in Jesus. I believe in God. I'm very spiritual. But, there is no one religion that doesn't hate or speak against or be prejudiced against another racial group or religious group, or sexual group. For that, I think religion is also bogus. So I suppose you could say I'm a quite religious woman that is very confused about religion.”

Gaga’s confusion about religion is obvious in the video, isn’t it?

Is it Art?

If Madonna’s videos are art, then “Alejandro” is art as well. Only “Alejandro” blends elements from several videos of Madonna, namely “Vogue”, “Justify My Love”, “American Life”, “Erotica”, and definitely “Like a Prayer”.

“Alejandro” has direct relations to Madonna’s “Vogue” and “Justify My Love” with the use of androgyny concepts, black and white setting, and Gaga being super blonde and wearing a female pantsuit and a cone-bra. Besides, in intern camps, the dancers are dressed with underwear and high heels referring to Madonna’s dancers in “Vogue” that shocked the audiences back in the 1990s.

The Third Reich references were introduced by Madonna in “American Life” where she appeared with police uniform.

The rape scenes with the gay men in intern camps are what Madonna did to the poor guy in “Erotica”; Bondage and submission to the maximum of erotic fantasy and seductive fornication.

If all the above do not stand for a comparison, Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” resurrects in “Alejandro” with all the religious symbolism and imagery taking place. Lady Gaga dances in a flaming setting dressed as a nun, holding and then swallowing a rosary, and getting unified with God, before all the sexualization takes place.

The director of “Alejandro”, Steve Klein, was the photographer of Madonna in the past. This could explain the similarities. On the other hand, it could explain nothing, but Gaga’s admiration for Madonna and her urge to pay a tribute to the Queen of Pop.

If not Blasphemy or Art, “Alejandro” is Controversial

No matter what side one takes, there is no doubt that “Alejandro” IS controversial.

The rapes of gay men in intern camps by Gaga, the military marching, the leather uniforms, the mind-controlled slaves, all refer to the fascist dictatorships of Mussolini and the Nazi regime of Hitler. However, this shocking imagery is anchored by a summerish, Latin beat that recalls Madonna’s “La isla Bonita”. Besides, one could argue that the video is a constant fight between opposing concepts: Good vs. Evil, Control vs. Obedience, Positive vs. Negative, and Male vs. Female (only Gaga is the male and male dancers are the female characters).

There is also no doubt that “Alejandro” features homosexual military theme, religious symbolism and blatant shocking imagery. Whatever the case may be, Lady Gaga is an eccentric persona who knows how to move the masses and create fuss around her. This is what she did with the long awaited video of “Alejandro”. If it’s blasphemy or art, it is subject to individual perceptions about religion, artistic expression and limits in art. However, there is no doubt that “Alejandro” blends religious symbolism with the shocking factor producing a video that raises spiritual oppositions.



Alejandro Video Clip, Lady Gaga

Meet the author

author avatar Christina Pomoni
As part of my long journey, I have served as an Equity Research Associate, a Marketing Research Analyst and a Financial & Investment Advisor. Besides, having lived at Chicago, IL, Boca Raton, FL and Paris, France has helped me, not only to be a succe...(more)

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