What’s Behind Kanye’s Power


Last week, Kanye West debuted the Marco Brambilla-directed video for his latest single, “Power.” Imbued with the sense of import we’ve come to except from Mr. West, the clip is a far cry from your average hip-hop video. As Brambilla, the video artist who created Civilization, the installation now on display at the New York Standard Hotel, explained to us, the video is an interpretation of “A moment of transition, showing an icon of power at the tipping point. The idea of celebrity, sexuality, and excess… the psychological toll that can take on an individual.” A recently released director’s cut (below) offers a more extreme-albeit slightly less slightly less suitable for mass consumption-riff on the idea. As the Standard’s Andre Balazs says in a behind-the-scenes video about the project, From Civilization to Power (above), his use of Brambilla’s work in his hotel offers guests a chance to take “An intellectually sophisticated journey one can take in the elevator, from a public place to a private place.” Now, thanks to Kanye, the whole world can get a look at what they’re doing–and thinking–at 848 Washington Street.