Lorde slammed after accusing Kanye West of plagiarism
She thinks her set design was ripped off
© Getty Images
Kanye West and Kid Cudi performed as Kids See Ghost at the Camp Flog Gnaw music festival in Los Angeles over the weekend, igniting some 'Melodrama' with pop singer Lorde. Even West's dance moves couldn't distract her from the fact that she felt he had plagiarized her set design, particularly the floating glass box she used in her 2017 tour.
I will forever treasure this video I have of Kanye dancing pic.twitter.com/pYhQsRiR7e— ♡ priscilla ♡ (@yagirlpriscilla) November 13, 2018
"I'm proud of the work I do and it's flattering when other artists feel inspired by it, to the extent that they choose to try it on themselves," Lorde wrote on Instagram. "But don't steal—not from women or anyone else—not in 2018 or ever."
Lorde's 2017 Coachella performance was designed by a woman named Es Devlin, and the New Zealand singer seems to think they've both been ripped off.
New Instagram story of Lorde acknowledging Kanye’s fishtank stage design! pic.twitter.com/lhGFQBvlEc— Lorde Daily (@LordeDaily) November 12, 2018
West and Cudi's set designer, John McGuire of Trask House, fired back by emailing the NY Times and saying that Lorde “wasn’t the first person to use a floating glass box, she won’t be the last. She doesn’t own it, her designer didn’t invent it.” He added, “Cubes and floating aren’t new to Kanye West, stage design or architecture. A quick google of floating glass box brings up many instances of suspended glass cubes.”
Though that might have been enough to silence Lorde, more information from Es Devlin knocked her concerns out of the park. In a strange plot twist, though Devlin didn't work on West's latest set, she's been working with him for years, and they're good friends. But wait, it gets much worse.
Devlin took to Instagram to post photos of a stage design she created for the English National Opera's production of 'Carmen' in 2007. Onstage is, of course, a floating glass box. Devlin wrote that the idea of such a design "is not in any way new and the geometry precedes all of us." She also cleared up the facts about which artist's sets she worked on and didn't, and said, "I admire both and see no imitation at work here," instead choosing to discuss why Lorde, West, and Cudi were drawn to this "fragile floating room."
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CARMEN by Georges Bizet , English National Opera 2007. . In Act 3 of Carmen, Jose decides to leave the rules and formal certainty of the army in search of liberation: The quest means un-mooring oneself from the known and risking anarchy, chaos, loss of identity. The idea of a floating glass box of course is not in any way new and the geometry precedes all of us. The form finds another layer of resonance in each new context. I did not design the recent Kids See Ghosts performance: I worked with Lorde on the design for her Coachella performance : I admire both and see no imitation at work here: I think the more interesting point is that both artists, responding to our dis-jointed times, are being drawn to this gesture of the fragile floating room: the world un-moored from gravity : where the rules of civilisation and identity as we have known them may soon no longer apply.
The 22-year-old is being criticized for turning her annoyance into a bizarre gender issue, as well as for trying to claim part ownership of the box idea herself despite the fact that Devlin had clearly created it a whole decade earlier.
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