You see, there’s tedious po-faced narcissism (Cyprus) and then there’s this – joyous High Camp. This is a happy and brave forward into a whole new dimension of self love.
Stripped to the waist, yet sometimes draped in acres of fabric from the waist down (problematising the entire concept of a clothed/naked binary), Slavko Kalezić, sings “Space” and thereby offers by far the campiest performance on offer this year. There’s a kind of heroic autonomy to this performance that makes his obvious recognition of his own beauty strangely endearing and infectious. Here’s the video:
Indeed, this is one of the most fascinating of this year’s entry, since it is built on so many bizarre contradictions. Here are the lyrics, which are the most sexually graphic I think I’ve ever heard at Eurovision:
Linen is covered with feathers
Wet dreams, wild nightmares, I surrender
Come into me from within
We can be as one in the sin
The spaceship is ready to blow
Drunk in love, I’m gonna explode
Be my Bonnie, will mix and match with Clyde
Let’s explore this galaxy of stars
I have my suit on, no need to worry
Give me your body, let’s write a story
Our body language,
Rocket to the stars
Show me your superpowers
I’m Venus and Mars of the hour
I’ll protect you if you come my way
Let’s soar through the Milky Way
Takin’ off, we’re takin’ off, takin’ off
In space we can be as one.
Oooh er. Slavko does have a “suit” on illustrating that he is, among other things, a safe sex advocate. Yet the performance video is striking partly because he is entirely alone. A moment when he appears to have backing dancers turns out to be just Slavko triplicated. Not only does nobody get close to him (despite the extreme penetrative imagery of the lyrics), but his dancing makes the very prospect of proximity a physical impossibility. Slavko’s elongated Game of Thrones Dothraki pigtail swirls about his person so as to impose a five foot exclusion zone all around him. No school disco tape-measure wielding chaperone is needed when he’s on the dance floor, because Slavko is, himself, his own chaperone. He sings about Space but he then again Slavko evidently needs a lot of personal space.
Perhaps you have to love yourself, or achieve a version of self sufficiency, before you’re in a fit state to love anybody else?
In any case, I’m finding this extraordinary performance more and more philosophically challenging with each repeated viewing.
Equally sexualised is the Moldovan entry:
Latvia offers a more techno-trance version of minimalism:
Iceland’s entry isn’t really a Eurovision song either:
Georgia’s offering is undoubtedly a bigger if not bolder initiative:
Frankly, I prefer Finland: