Sarah Jarosz – House of Mercy

on

Prior to the proliferation of feminist performance art — begun half a
century ago and continuing today — the presence of a naked female body
in artistic media connoted a kind of shorthand. Naked women in paintings
and movies were typically offered to convey a very limited range of
concepts — innocence, corruption, vulnerability and sexual availability
chief among them. Artists like Yoko Ono and Carolee Schneemann exploded
that vocabulary. Artistic nudity came to signify nothing, and
everything. What this means is that in 2016, when bluegrass and folk
artist Sarah Jarosz
releases a video for her potent new single “House of Mercy” featuring
many stylized images of her own bare skin, she is not limited in the
story she’s trying to tell. Her only irrefutable message is that now
she’s got literal skin in the game.

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