David Bowie, o le virtù del mutamento = David Bowie, or the virtues of change


Abstract


David Bowie, or the virtues of change. Who is David Bowie? Perhaps, it is easier to say who Bowie is not. He is not a rock star, not a movie star, not just a celebrity starring on the covers of magazines. His attitude to change makes him unique compared to every other cultural industry protagonist.Looking at the socio-historical perspective, where its myth originates, I suggest defining Bowie as a “cultural icon”. More than being the symbol of a given context (epochal, cultural, gender), he constitutes the paradigmatic expression of a body concept based on a new and, in many ways, unexpected idea of individuality. We cannot easily reduce the British artist to a single form, as usually happened to the stars of the first half of the 20th century. From “Major Tom” to “Ziggy Stardust”, from the “Thin White Duke” to the middle class man in his sixties surrounded by semiotic wastes of his artistic life (as he appears in his latest video-clip “The Stars are out tonight”), Bowie is a character made up of a fluid and elusive substance. With its transformations, he is not seeking a simple renovation, but an incessant and radical rewriting of himself.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n4p183

Keywords: cultural icon; transformation; cultural industry; individuality

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