I’m still thinking through many of the points raised in recent discussions of violence in art on the blog, especially about complicity and the notion of safe spaces (or the refusal thereof) in art. I’ve been wanting to bring in Xiu Xiu, a band that has frequently or constantly explored violence, particularly sexual violence, as well as self-harm, in their work; so their release of a 7” single this week, “Daphny,” was convenient – particularly because the B-side, a Rihanna song, provides another interesting example of art that denies a safe space, actually pulls that safety rug out from under the original song’s feet. So to speak. Given that there is a “safe” version to compare it with, Xiu Xiu’s cover is a pretty obvious example of the kind of deterritorialization that others were talking about in relation to Twin Peaks – and it also works as critique, given the fact of its pairing with an overtly political song, a pairing that seems strategic.
The 7”’s title track, “Daphny,” responds to the experience of a friend of the band who was raped by a police officer while in custody after being arrested for shoplifting. The other track, mentioned above, is a transformative/deformative cover of Rihanna’s “Only Girl (in the World)” – the official video for which Lucas posted a while back.
You can listen to both tracks here.