Drapery and the Social Body

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If Viktoria Modesta was not an amputee pop artist, Black Panthers aint black and Sapeurs (members of a social movement called La Sape) aren’t from Congo, would all of them still remain controversial? During the section, we discussed most of the above; Viktoria Modesta was among the most debatable identity in the discussion. In year 1 CTS, I have learned “reflection” in one of the lessons, when I am noticed of Viktoria Modesta in her music video Prototype, I instantly reflected myself towards her because I was once a performer.


Some of the people from class commented the art direction and styling of the music video weren’t appealing, for instance, a scene of her kissing a 50-year-old man, over-confidently showing her prosthetics as a gimmick, etc. I agreed perhaps if Modesta wasn’t trying too hard with her styling and story-telling, audiences would feel more comfortable to seek her beauty, but she had semi-succeeded because the art direction had caught your attention and made you remember her, that’s the whole idea of a debut album. To be honest, I would accept Viktoria’s glossy spike prosthetics over Lady Gaga’s Kobe beef dress on MTV award.


More importantly, it’s the story behind her that had strengthen her identity; she had gone through many surgery with her left leg since very young and assumingly despised by many other human being. As we Chinese said, “There are always chances behind crisis.” I believe Viktoria clearly understand this point by looking through her work.


As a student of Graphic Branding and Identity, other than taking graphic design as a language for designers to speak their own language, I value a lot on storytelling and unique identities. To see Viktoria Modesta’s work, I appreciate she has the courage to embrace herself who has a different body type than others, by using this as part of her performance; but I don’t agree with her refused to admit herself as representing disability. She said, “I represent the feeling that you have a choice to create your own identity.” (Saner, 2014), which I find the answer is wise, but I personally think you cannot create your own identity without embracing your true self.



Francois, J. (2016). Drapery and the Social Body.

Saner, E. (2014). Viktoria Modesta, the world’s first amputee pop star: ‘If you don’t fit in, then don’t fit in’. Guardian.

Viktoria Modesta. (2016). [image] Available at: http://www.viktoriamodesta.com [Accessed 6 Nov. 2016].



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