Something other than bell hooks

Seeing as how everyone did their video on some concept from bell hooks (including me), I’m going to re-do our little assignment and NOT about hooks. Instead, I want to talk about the video for “Somebody I Used to Know” by Gotye. I saw the video and was absolutely stumped. I love figuring out the meaning of videos by artists and it’s kind of a ridiculous obsession of mine (especially with Gaga!), so of course I went online and found some interesting interpretations to add to what I had made of the video. The lyrics are pretty straightforward. Gotye and Kimbre broke up and he doesn’t understand what he did wrong, and doesn’t recognize who Kimbre has become or why she cut him out of her life. She talks about how shitty the relationship was. The bad break up in a nutshell. I didn’t really understand their bodies being colored in triangles. This is where I did a little digging. The interpretation I liked the best is one where Gotye is trying to make Kimbre fit into his mold (the color scheme of the triangles) but she just doesn’t fit and is tired of trying to. She thought the problems in the relationship we her fault, but realized it was his expectations of her. In the end Kimbre has no paint on her, and it represents the breakup and her taking over her identity as her own person and not what Gotye wants her to be. I related this to Butler’s view on torture. She says that all bodies are vulnerable and marking the body is torture. The more marks you make, the more torture you inflict and the more dominant you become. In this case, Gotye trying to fit Kimbre in his mold is represented by the paint and shapes, which for Butler would represent the torturous marking of the body. In the end, Kimbre breaks the mold and releases herself from the torture Gotye is placing on her by removing the marks. It could also be said that Gotye is torturing himself by marking her with his expectations. Butler also says that bodies are reliant on one another, and no body is singular. Gotye and Kimbre’s bodies become disconnected with her removing all the marks, and him still standing there with marks.

This is just the interpretation I liked the best and I thought it went well Butler. I hope you like it!

-Sara Asher


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