Confronting their shadows, accepting and learning, BTS bring on stage a new set of dark wings. The new official MV for Map Of The Soul:7 second single ‘Black Swan’ portrays the performer’s perspective of fame. In another form of expression that brings a new piece of the members’ heart to the spotlight.
‘Black Swan’ was already addressed as an honest expression of true artists. The song is a representation of what fame can bring, including the darkest forms of love. Artists’ obsessions over perfection, submission to society’s pressure and the consequential fatigue towards what they love the most.
- You can read about the song, here.
The Black Swan
The new official MV for ‘Black Swan’ is closely tied with Aronofsky’s piece, the film with the same name (2010). The movie tells a story where the main character faces her own shadow, all throughout her journey to perform the doubled part – ‘The Swan’ of the ballet piece. The final product of this journey is a Swan who turns from white to dark – just like the ballerina slowly brings to light her own oppressed shadow. The similarities between both worlds start from the moment BTS members turn their own outfits from white to black throughout the MV – turning from white swans into black swans. This narrative is accompanied by the flowing details: the theater, the stage lights, the wings.
BTS tell us a story, a story where they come back and forth between their light and their darkness. Just like in the movie, the set is always portrayed from the artist’s perspective: the empty theater and backstage, the spotlights turned to them on stage – even going as far as turning their backs on the audience. Even though it’s open to interpretation at any time, the positioning of the light is equally metaphorical towards what the artist really sees and what the audience’s constant and scrutinizing watch feels like.
This is the same note the group has used through the video for ‘Interlude: Shadow’, where rapper SUGA shows the difference between the backstage and what’s brought to the public. When the curtain closes, and the lights go out, there’s a darkness no one sees. If intentionally planned or not, coincidentally, SUGA is also the one who tries to reach out for his shadow through the video.
- You can read about ‘Interlude: Shadow’, here.
The artistic sensibility of both song and video is otherworldly. ‘Black Swan’ MV and concept bring together various forms of artistic expressions, reminding us once again that art is a language of its own. Jimin takes the wings of the black swan, not only literally, but through his dance performance as well. The singer is formally a contemporary dance student and takes the roll of performing as the swan during the video. The character takes the spotlight while portraying the specific dance style. Jimin was already known for his unique dancing style, his perfect delivery and lightness of steps – the masterpiece doesn’t come as a surprise, but it doesn’t fail to give us the chills either way.
‘Black Swan’ MV also brings back the picturesque style that has been following this album diligently. Previously, some of the teaser photos portrayed Chiaroscuro style, an original painting technique which balances light and darkness. Now, the MV uses that same balance throughout the different scenes and cuts. There’s always a light and a shadow, a darkness within brightness. A thrive of willingness and desire to reach a top, even through hardships, self-doubt and own grid.
After their Love Yourself series, it seems like BTS now bend to a self-discovery and acceptance through Map Of The Soul. This journey has been complemented with a true care for passion towards the art, but also with parallels of past, present and what may be a better future. After ‘Boy With Luv’ creates a light parallel of ‘Boy In Luv’, ‘ON’ creating a parallel of ‘N.O’, ‘Black Swan’ becomes the epitome of their acceptance that even the darkness inside ourselves helps making who we are. By knowing what your shadow is, you know what your light is. Knowing your shadow is also knowing yourself. BTS tell us a story of what it’s like to grow, learn and accept yourself.
- BTS have been breaking records left and right with their new album Map Of The Soul:7, and you can read all about it here.
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Featured Image source: Big Hit Entertainment