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Balenciaga new surreal video campaign

A dystopian newscast to talk about the alienation of society

Balenciaga new surreal video campaign A dystopian newscast to talk about the alienation of society

In these confusing and disconnected times, fashion brands find it easy to speculate on easy positivity. This is not the case with Balenciaga, whose new video for the SS20 campaign delves into the theme of the iconography of politics and the aestheticism of corporate banality by staging a fake news story somewhere between satire and surrealism.

Images of a technological and artificial society flow on the screen accompanied by disturbing and chaotic sounds composed by the American group Wolf Eyes, nonsensical slogans such as "No More Traffic Jams!", "Where Is All The Water Going?" and "Pedestrians Are Back" appear superimposed while the models wearing the clothes of the SS20 season in exaggerated prosthetic make-up move digitally-animated mouths pronouncing disconnected sounds. It is the representation of a dystopian society, of a near and meaningless future and above all, it's an ideal development of the aesthetic carried out by Demna Gvasalia during this season.

The homologation of politics and the corporate world, the banality elevated to aesthetics and the ugliness as the fulcrum of stylistic research are the basis of the reflection on the modern world carried on by Gvasalia from the beginning of his artistic direction for Balenciaga. Both the brand's S220 show and the recent photo campaign, which featured voter posters, had as leitmotiv a particular shade of blue taken from the iconography of the European Parliament. Even in the campaign photos the insignificant slogans were central, and precisely through their blatant emptiness ironically accused the lack of values, banality and falsehood of politicians on the one hand, and on the complete apathy, cynicism and disillusionment of the public on the other. The clothes themselves are nothing but a parody of the cheesy uniforms of politics, opposed in some fashionable way, designed to be reassuring and repetitive but deliberately exaggerated by Gvasalia to show themselves in all their monstrous mediocrity. 

To the image of a world ruled by petty and unsightly bureaucrats, this fake newscast adds to the idea of highly coded, artificial and "inhuman" communication that is passively accepted as part of a common language but remains dead. It makes no sense for those who spell it coldly behind the screen and it's to those who listen to it, recognizing it but without understanding it, this flow of news speaks of artificial society, made apathetic by post-truth and absurdness. But what's worse is that this society looks unsettlingly like ours. Clothes are an extension and a manifestation of this flatness – a reflection of a world that has forgotten the existence of a sense behind things.