26/03/2015

Marilyn Manson "I Don't Like The Drugs" // Music Video Stills


In search of more possible conceptual ideas for my final piece, I decided to start researching art films and music videos, for interesting visuals and deeper messages, that could influence my ideas. As I've been looking at themes of horror and distortion, I decided to look into the music videos of the king of disturbing himself, Marilyn Manson. Due to it's underlying social messages and visuals, that really build on what I've already looked at, I decided to look at stills from the music video, "I Don't Like The Drugs", in order to find more inspiration both visually and conceptually. 


I also decided to look at this music video because Manson makes a great deal of use, out of light and in particular white noise, through these television screens he has tied to his back whilst trying to walk down a street. The lyrics in this video really communicate a clear sense of resentment that Manson has for society and how it raises people. The lyrics "I don't like the drugs, but the drugs like me", I think is Manson using drugs as a metaphor for social institutions like education and religion. Other lyrics in the song make reference to drugs being a metaphor for god and this idea that god is still welcoming to everyone, no matter what you've done and that is what religion pushes.

In terms of the television screens that are weighing down Manson in the still above, I think they represent the constant pull that mass media has on us, in terms of our thoughts and perspective on everything. I think it also challenges this idea of what free will actually means, in a society where we apparently have human rights and the freedom of speech, however we are tightly placed into these social institutions and norms, that take away of lot of our independence and free will, in terms of what religions we are exposed to and the way we are taught and allowed to live our lives. I think the white noise as well that we see on the screens, represents Manson's opinion on how meaningless mass media is in keeping our lives moving along but not actually allowing us to go anywhere.

When Manson was just Brian Warner, as a child he attended a catholic school and this song and many others, really reveals this resentment he feels towards religion, education, family and western culture in general. In terms of this still, where we can see a family gathered around to watch a television show, where we see a headless man in the screen. I think here the reference to drugs is a metaphor for what society gives to those who are part of lower tiers of society, in that Manson believes the everyday person is raised to be stupid and taught to be nothing through these empty television shows and what is passed through the media and social norms that are consecutive to day to day life. Manson uses anonymity here to communicate this much deeper message as we cannot see the faces of any of the subjects in this piece, making us focus on this group as a family, all facing this television screen and what that represents.

The colours used in the video are all very desaturated, which I think was intentional, in order to communicate this idea of society being very soulless and institutionalised, as to me the taking away of colour takes away this sense of life and joy.


In a lot of the video we see many clips of Manson in these very bright, over exposed shots, where he looks deranged and confined. I think this is him commenting further on how mass media and society drives him crazy, with the sense of order and entrapment that it makes him feel. I think this use of overexposing the shot to take away a lot of the detail, that just leaves these bright white and grey shapes, is powerful in conveying this sense of psychological torment Manson feels. I also find this bright white effect, very clinical and minimal, which I think is interesting to see this movement within, as it gives the effect that Manson is struggling within a padded cell. Which again massively relates to this sense of entrapment that he is conveying, in relation to social institutions within our western society that try to control him.

Looking at this video, has inspired me to think more about the use of lighting in my images and the deeper meanings I could communicate through using textures such as white noise and desaturated or even monochromatic colours and also again how I could use anonymity to communicate something very conceptual with my work. The themes of this video have also inspired me to think about how I could make a comment on society and social institutions, such as mass media with my own work.

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