From Modeling to Interview- Rewriting Fame

Posted by on Nov 22, 2019 in Blog, Critic's Area | 0 comments

Samita Nandy

As I work on five publications, I am developing Samita Nandy Productions – It is an immense honor to be able to return to production after 15 years of documentary filmmaking that I started with Premiere Cinematic Productions but put it on hold for my Ph.D. and post-doctoral journey.

In this creative journey, I crossed paths with photographer Christine Mooijer from Amsterdam and received an honor to model for her project called “Under Pressure” – a visual critique of Hollywood’s American Dream that started with actors in Los Angeles this year. As the author of Fame in Hollywood North, I enacted the challenges that come with the American myth all around the world and how it feels to fight for the unachievable ideals of glamour and success while restoring one’s artistic production – it is a physical work of art that reports on fame rarely discuss.

This hidden challenge is not limited to independent artists but extends to famous artists who can lose right to their artistic creation – such is the case of Taylor Swift now.

While I was compiling still and moving images from photographer Christine Mooijer’s Hollywood project, journalist Chris Stokel-Walker and I spoke on the loss and fight for self that Taylor Swift has faced due to Scooter Braun’s legal barriers on her.

You can read the complete article with my interview in The Telegraph

What does Scooter Braun’s case say about ideals of fame in America?

Scooter Braun’s actions demonstrate the constructed-ness and politics of fame – it is a complex interplay of media, governments, business, and fans. While his business pursuit in fame challenges her authenticity – a key element in fame that is significant in media attention – fans play a role in reconstructing and restoring fame in a way that addresses questions on authenticity. I envision the authenticity of her arts, especially her old songs, immortalized and standing stronger than efforts of Scooter Braun claiming ownership of her songs. The authenticity in the immortality is evident in the media attention right now.

I think it’s a legitimate act for her to reach out to fans in this moment of artistic crisis. Fans have played a key role in the overall construction of her fame and, more importantly, in the artistic interpretation of her songs. From this perspective, she reaches out to those with whom she wants to share her songs. The outreach appears to be part of her artistic expression that Scooter Braun is challenging. For Taylor Swift, however, it is now also part of the same marketing outreach that Scooter Braun once secured – it’s just that she is reaching beyond the legal boundaries Scooter has set in his market for her. So, one one hand, her communication with fans is part of her individualistic arts. On the other hand, what lies in common with Scooter Braun, is a question of financial gain – who is more legitimate in making profits in this fame? Taylor Swift or Scooter Braun?

It’s a question that perhaps fans can answer through their lobbying outcomes for her art.

For more updates on my production work and interviews, subscribe to my YouTube and follow my IG @fame.critic

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