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Madonna on Vanity Fair Italia (June)


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1 hour ago, XXL said:

says: "I like your Gucci trousers". I understand immediately: she's not paying me a compliment. She's X-raying me. Or better yet, it's a test, as she continues: "I have changed my dress for you, guess the designer". I look at her, briefly pondering my answer and I reply it's an Alexander McQueen.

"We're already starting poorly", she says. "I'll give you another chance, it's from an Italian designer who doesn't work in Italy". "Oh, I see, then it's too easy, the dress is by Riccardo". "Very well, you're getting better" she smiles. "It's a Riccardo Tisci for Burberry".

:provoke:

I’ll pass on the rest of it. Maybe that’s how that other girl experienced the five months spent with M...

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32 minutes ago, frzndrwnwrld said:

That's weird. Why would Vanity Fair use a photoshoot done by Harper's Bazaar 2 years ago?

Vanity Fair Italia does, they actually did it before in 2015, they used a Terry Richardson 2013 Harper's Bazaar cover shot of her for their cover, to promote Rebel Heart

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Madame X, your new album is really political and engaging. Why?

Because the world is going backwards. And because there aren't enough critical voices. How many celebrities do have the will to raise their voices, their platforms and relevance to make a difference? In all honesty I see so many celebrities trying to acquire even more fame. Few have the courage to expose themselves by saying something controversial

Are you referring to the necessity of standing against populism and the advancement of the far right in every corner of the world?

Yes, exactly that. Because history repeats itself, just like before the Second World War. In moments of crisis and financial difficulty, people tend to be extremely frightened and to point the finger at everyone else, at the immigrants, at the different ones, "the weird ones", at anyone who doesn't resemble them in any way or form

And I ask everyone, not just famous people, when was the last time that you did something to change the situation for the better, rather than playing the blame game. An act of generosity. Giving something without expecting anything in return. Saying a good word to someone who needed it. Instead they are all silent and angry

You were never one to keep your mouth shut, were you?

It's impossible to get me to shut up. And because of that I've always been ferociously criticised, put on a grill, done into pieces. To have a conversation, to tackle unpopular topics, to expose oneself, it is something that frightens everyone today. In this day and age of social media interactions the fear of taking a stance is greater than the desire to acquire more Instagram followers. In short, a complete disaster I would say.

So you think we should allow ourselves to be inspired by Joan of Arc, another iconic and rebellious reference in your album

Frida Kahlo and Joan of Arc are my greatest muses. Women who'll never cease being an example of rebellion

Speaking of female rebellion, lately women seem to be making progress in the emancipation from male stereotypes. But the governments and the laws written by men, on the contrary, aim at bringing them backwards

It's an ugly paradox. But I must say something inconvenient. It's true, today women are freer to objectify themselves, to dress how the hell they want, to present themselves in a way that doesn't square with those male stereotypes. At the same time I keep seeing the same canons repeated forever. In the 60s everyone wanted to be skinny like Twiggy. Today every girl wants to look like Kim Kardashian. At the end of the day the model is still one and it's dictated by a sexist and misogynistic society, a place where decisions are taken by men to please other men. But I don't give up, I insist on encouraging all women to think differently. I want to celebrate all forms of beauty, not just one. Because beauty is never in the eye of the beholder. Particularly if the eye in question is that of a man

How did you succeed in encouraging yourself to always keep going against everyone?

Easy. Accepting to be not accepted. Rejection is the best thing that could happen to you, the one that makes you grow the most. Being told no, having doors slammed on you is the only thing that's going to make you react, that forces you to hit harder, that convinces you that you can actually make it, that you must make it. They taught us that we must hear we are beautiful and intelligent. Instead the contrary is true: only if you find yourself excluded you'll be able to find your path, able to find your voice. And finally get to comprehend that the only muse you're going to need is you

It looks like a good proposition on paper. Unfortunately today with social media and the internet, rejection, bullism and the thirst to attack others become global and devastating. How does one react to the haters?

Ignoring them. And pitying them. They write out of envy, because they are angry, because you are different from them, to get attention. And in the end, if you resist, you realise they don't actually mean it

You're a prolific Instagram user and you also share pictures of your kids. How do you behave with them? Do you allow them to use a phone?

No. Only my eldest ones can. After all everyone knows that I loved life before the advent of the smartphone

In what sense?

Before the smartphone people would talk to each other. When you entered a room or a restaurant people used to look each other in the eyes and had a discussion. Today everyone is stuck with their heads into the phone. It's a catastrophe, socially and creatively speaking. How is one supposed to develop a talent or personality with all the noise coming from those devices?

I formed my personality from movies, literature and the visual arts. At the end of the day what invades you today is a pressure to dress a certain way, a pressure to keep quiet, to become "respectable". And to keep your mouth shut

Do you have any advice or a remedy?

It's difficult to suggest a remedy. I just want to point out how difficult it is to concentrate and grow while surrounded by all this noise.

 

Let's go back to the album. In Extreme Occident you mention the necessity of being aware but also crazy at the same time. What do you mean by that?

(Before she answers the question she takes off her sunglasses with a theatrical and purposely slow gesture and she is back to showing her blue eyes. Finally I manage to intercept her gaze once again)

 

I'm beginning to really dig this conversation I have to admit. Extreme Occident is one of my favourite songs. I do believe that a person begins being truly creative, only when they clarify to themselves who they are and their surrounding world. And when you reach this kind of lucidity then we must indulge ourselves with some degree of folly. It's the paradox of creativity

You love paradoxes, after studying Kabbalah you also mentioned, the paradox of life. Which is the more you know the more you despise. The more you despise the more you engage yourself with change

It's true, the more lucid you are, the more you realise how terrible humanity can be, the more you feel like you cannot and should not give up hope and being engaged

Who are the people who have shaped and influenced your life and career the most?

I have to admit that my parents played a very important role. The absence of my mother was something that pushed me to look for something else. Her absence generated the need to fill that void. Then it was the turn of my dance instructor, the first homosexual person I'd ever met, the first person who made me feel special and that helped me to appreciate myself. I've already talked about Joan of Arc and Frida Kahlo but there is also the great choreographer Martha Graham, my dance teacher when I was 19, she gave me the Madame X monicker. And also poets like Mary Oliver, writers like Flannery O'Connor or Joan Didion. The world of those women has forged my own.

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Lately,  many artists, Michael Jackson to mention one, have been "cancelled" as a consequence of their conduct. What do you think of this cancellation? Is it important to separate the private life from the art?

It's difficult to separate the art from the artist because in the end the art is an extension of the person. But maybe it's ultimately right to separate them. A documentary about Marlon Brando comes to mind. He was an absolute genius. He confessed to having been a terrible husband and to having treated women poorly. There you go, in spite of everything, in spite of my commitment to female emancipation, I believe that his shortcomings should not prevent me from appreciating him as an actor. At the end of the day we are all human beings and nobody's perfect. This awareness only comes from possessing lucidity


Lucid, that's probably the most fitting word to describe Madonna nowadays. She doesn't get a word out of place, she ponders every single one of them as if she was a chemist in a laboratory. She mixes their content bringing every syllable to its original formula, pure, without leaving ground to error or misunderstanding. In the end, the challenge she subjects the world to it is but a fraction of the harsher and implacable one she seems to constantly impose on herself

One final question: are you happy with your new album? Do you consider it a won bet?

Yes, I believe so. It's the best answer I had to these Medieval times we are sinking into

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2 hours ago, XXL said:

It's an ugly paradox. But I must say something inconvenient. It's true, today women are freer to objectify themselves, to dress how the hell they want, to present themselves in a way that doesn't square with those male stereotypes. At the same time I keep seeing the same canons repeated forever. In the 60s everyone wanted to be skinny like Twiggy. Today every girl wants to look like Kim Kardashian. At the end of the day the model is still one and it's dictated by a sexist and misogynistic society, a place where decisions are taken by men to please other men. But I don't give up, I insist on encouraging all women to think differently. I want to celebrate all forms of beauty, not just one. Because beauty is never in the eye of the beholder. Particularly if the eye in question is that of a man

Great interview, but this part sticks out like a sore thumb. Madonna herself is not immune the very thing she is criticizing. This does not necessarily discredit her point of view, but it makes statements as such "I want to celebrate all forms of beauty, not just one" come off as hypocritical, especially in light of the butt implants.

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On 6/23/2019 at 3:05 PM, Urien said:

Great interview, but this part sticks out like a sore thumb. Madonna herself is not immune the very thing she is criticizing. This does not necessarily discredit her point of view, but it makes statements as such "I want to celebrate all forms of beauty, not just one" come off as hypocritical, especially in light of the butt implants.

 

Oh please

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