Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Make It Gackt in 2008

I was hearing some heavy metal-type music coming from the Full Metal Archivist's computer yesterday, which stood out from her usual SMAP, female balladeers, and Japanese talk show soundscape, so I asked her what she was watching. Gackt, she replied.

What's a Gackt?
He's a visual artist.
What, like a painter?
No, he's a vocalist, but he wears makeup. We call him a visual artist.
Come look.

What I saw was this:

The Full Metal Archivist was shocked that I could have lived a whole year in Japan and not heard of Gackt. Apparently he's so popular NHK just gave him full creative control over this recent appearance on the variety/talk show Motif, so he taped his performance and interspersed clips from the historical drama he's been starring in, rather than doing it live as usual. Must be seen to be believed. As must the reaction of Nakai-kun from SMAP at the very end of the clip. He babbles something like, "Thank you very much. I've seen the other side of Gackt-kun now," but it's his body language that tells the real story.

Of course Gackt is into anime and video games, so I guess he's a kind of an Okinawan otaku samurai metalhead. Cool. I'd love to see him open for Tool!

[Update 1/10/08: Catching up on the doings about Blogoramaville, I'm happy to report that the Full Metal Archivist mind-melded with Anime Genesis's 2007 Blogger of the Year on this, but sad to acknowledge that Patrick beat me to posting on it by about 9 hours. Next time, Macias, next time!]


Bill Benzon said...

I understand your confusion on the visual artist thing.

It's similar to mine when I was dealing with one Chuck Harris, president of the Visual Arts Group. Judging from the name you'd think it was about painting or drawing or advertising, something like that. But no, it's a talent agency specializing in freaks. These are variety acts, you see them, and thus they ARE visual. But you see lots of things, like the meat at a butcher shop. But butchers don't generally call themselves visual artists (even butches in makeup). Here's the VAG website:


spyder said...

The nomenclature problem is becoming a viral one at that. As an Arts Commissioner i have to support the visual arts and artists, who comprise (as Bill points out) the fine arts (both 2D and 3D) and other visual media (graphic productions, mixed media, and so forth). Then we have the performing arts community that encompasses all the of the usual performing arts and this new "genre" of visual (performing) art.

As a music festival producer i work with performance artists who are visual artists under this idea, but whose performance work is supplementary to the overall production that is essentially a mixed media visual and auditory extravaganza. In essence, our production company is the visual artist in this new sense, bringing together those from the visual arts and performing arts to work together to produce an interactive audience participatory co-creation.

Now i am confused. Ack Ack Bill the Cat, GackT

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