Lady Gaga’s Appropriation Goes Deep
Are you pleased that Lady Gaga is popularizing some of the aesthetic and conceptual concerns in your work?
Sterling: It makes me laugh when people like Gaga appropriate my ideas without understanding my intentions. But I guess it is flattering. Morrissey recently visited Lady Gaga after one of her shows. On her dressing room wall, in a silver Gothic frame, was a print of the collage that I made in 1977 of a woman with an iron as her head and smiling mouths over the nipples. Lady Gaga said to Morrissey, “I always decorate my dressing room with the images that I like.” If that collage is one of Gaga’s icons of inspiration — and we all need them, as much as air and water — then that’s great. But feminist history isn’t just a dressing-up box. Feigned cultural amnesia is never very attractive.