ATOnce upon a time there was calm in the cinema. The public has repressed its famous noise stress in the summer of 2017 because everyone in the room knew that it was acting with infrequent intensity in Luc Besson's filmed sugar bag "Valerian": a Barbados's young lady, Robyn Rihanna Fenty, aged twenty-nine, The curious role of an alien varieties dancer had already attracted the attention of millions of spectators under her middle name as a singer. He struggled for a moment against an image of dignity and despicable goodness in which even a spoiled movie had to swallow.
Self-presentation, too, does not take Rihanna as seriously as her voice. Now she has produced an illustrated book that behaves like a star: it does not justify its existence by the text, but enchants with purely sensual effects.
Neither pure fashion history, nor documentary to scroll, the work shows the lady, she is partly absorbed by the picturesque nowhere, partly as a famous character among others even more famous, as in the filming of the clip video of the song "FourFiveSconds" with the rapper Kanye West and the rogue Paul McCartney .. On which it acts at the same time as the youngest ones and that the only adults represented: the biological age and the social age do not need necessarily coincide; This will certainly help cultural criticism if someone translates it from photographic to academic.
When Rihanna eats Asian noodle soup, it looks like a cigarette that smokes Humphrey Bogart and, when she smokes, she looks like a Dragon Priestess exhaling smoke after the ritual of sacrifice. Is there in Hollywood a sect whose writing is an image book? Respectfully, a noble material wraps around the artist like a mist around a cypress tree; The water and the sky are discussing to know if azure or overseas are the best background for them. and that you can make porcelain lipstick, did not know before these paintings that old sketches in prose of André Breton.
Rihanna was not a musician? As many and as good as Rihanna's pictures promise as much coverage as possible, no one can hear, much less import. But it is not necessary, it has since proved all that had to be proven, first with the track "Umbrella" (2007) on the leading edge, ten years later, then because of the contrast with the beauties The depth and breadth of his album "Anti" (2016), which distracts from the longplay architecture. Among the women who perform almost exclusively today the work of aesthetic refinement in the field of pop music, there are some who work musically with increased complexity, from FKA twigs to Janelle Monáe through the Sudanese archives. But the art-political idea that unites them all, namely self-representation as the surpassing of an attractive artistic concept in the profession – is it a singer, an actress, a performance artist? – Rihanna lives more clearly than any other person, where it has the strongest effect: on the surface, we speak of "advertising" in the trade as much as in the love.
"Rihanna". Phaidon Press, London 2019. 504 p., Ill., Born, 140, – €.