“Dipping Into Light Forever” is the first video from Oblivia’s Suburban Legend LP and it does not disappoint.
For those familiar with the artist’s past video work, Oblivia’s mix of femme commentary, sensory-bending sound and self-exploration reaches its wildest fury when she gives her music over to multimedia movement. “Dipping Into Light Forever” presents a solid continuation of the artist’s transformative grit in a career that finely combs through ideation, trauma and queer identity with blunt no-holds-barred fantasy.
Since we last spoke with Oblivia in February about her recent sophomore record, she has been at work applying her unique approach of storytelling to the confrontation of a rather intensely esoteric subject matter. “Being somewhat of a gender chameleon, we wanted to create a montage of archetypes, a one woman show. I like the idea of immortalizing these feminine personas in video, creating imagined possible alternate lives, stories, and pathways to go down,” she muses. “In some ways, that’s about regret, knowing that I can’t be every version of myself that I have ever imagined, and some attempts have been rejected. I am whoever I need. I am whoever I wanted to be.”
Thriving in a visual space where expressions of the plastic and painful veer into a blurred babble of beauty and burden, Oblivia prefers to film in a froth of fairy tale—mythic and majestic. The newest finds Oblivia donning tastes of fantasy in quick succession, giddy-upping the Yeehaw agenda amidst neon lit saloon alleyways of Bourbon St., reflective fabric worthy of wonderment from the likes of ‘90s TLC, the sparkly spangly of ‘80s Lady Lovely Locks flowing in dizzying dreamery, just to name a few. For all of its fabulous fashion, it keeps with the artist’s unmistakable catharsis and priestesshood of personas.
Oblivia remarks that “Dipping Into Light Forever” is primarily a love song, “a sentiment or a promise to forever hold on to those who have brought light and joy into my life (if not physically, then in memory)”. And though her words are often indecipherable under the harshened effects on her wailing vocals, it is interesting to know that the only lyrics to this song are incredibly wistful, romantic and at the same time apocalyptic to the core. "When darkness comes, I will hold you, until the end of time" loop into a chanted curse, as explained, “Darkness being the impending unknown. The future that we are constantly hurtling towards and simultaneously running away from. The end of time, could be the end of the world in general, or the end of our lives within it.”
Sarrah Danziger brought the same ethereal strength, poetically displayed in their photography as director of “Dipping Into Light Forever”. No stranger to Oblivia’s work, having worked with the artist before on Oblivia’s noise opera, there is a clear bond of collaboration and creative spark between the two artists. Danziger’s camera work (with assistance by Koko Barrios) certainly contends to a level of pop princess perfection, regardless of their familial ties to DIY, tomes in which Oblivia herself gently taunts and gloriously honors in subsequent hostility and harmony. Performance artists and dancers Ellery Burton and Sean Mullins accompany Oblivia with steadfast accuracy that further amps the traditions of corporate pop video stylings. A true chaos magick maven who has dwelled a large part of the past year in Mexico, Oblivia glistens as the multiplicities that always were and never will be all at once, reaching into the goddess pantheons of not just the gloss and glamour of irony, but in the honest yearnings of her own complicated being.
Sunni Johnson is the Arts Editor of WUSSY and a writer, zinester, and musician based in Atlanta, GA.