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Art, History: Analyzing The Carters’ ‘Apes**t’

How Beyoncé and Jay-Z's Video Combines Classical Art and Contemporary Performance

Directed by Ricky Saiz with cinematography with Benoit Debie, the “Apes**t” video from The Carters “features Beyoncé and Jay-Z in [an] empty Louvre Museum; perhaps the greatest bastion of so-called ‘high culture, and also the center of the predominantly white and male tradition of Western Art,” writes Michael Rose.

“The ‘Apes**t video is stunningly styled, choreographed, and filmed. And it is also highly conceptual,” Rose continues. “It takes part in an ongoing tradition of celebrities engaging with high art, it places the uniquely American art form of rap on the same level with European masterpieces, and it corrects the lack of diversity that is often taken for granted in cultural institutions, not only in the Old World, but in the New as well.” To read the full article, click here.

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“The artworks in ‘Apesh**t’ often have thematic resonances with the lyrics with which they’re juxtaposed, or visually echo the dance movements performed in front of them, but the video’s real thematic anchor is the Louvre itself,” says Benjamin Sutton. The former royal palace is the perfect setting for the debut music video by pop music’s royal couple as an official duo, The Carters.

“Not only does the video’s setting enshrine them in the glowing aura of European monarchy (further underlined by ‘The Coronation of Napoleon’), it also works in a contemporary context,” Sutton continues. “After all, who but Beyoncé and Jay-Z could secure exclusive access to the busiest museum in the world to shoot a music video?” To read the full article, click here.

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