Ideological Aspects of Erotic Capital and Patriarchal Power Relations in the Visual Interpretations of Lola Astanova

Keywords: Lola Astanova, erotic capital, patriarchy, visual musical interpretation, pianistic video clip


Lola Astanova is a professional Uzbek-American pianist who resorts to controversial performance practices in line with neo-globalist trends. Thus, her extravagant musico-visual “spectacles” are recognizable by an excessive emphasis on female sexuality and the absence of a highly aestheticised, contemplative piano sound. This paper aims to explore how the ideological and interpretive strategies of this unconventional artist are imbued with the erotic capital and patriarchal power relations of the modern consumer society. A selection of publicly available performances by Astanova has been made, most of which are presented to the audience in the form of video clips. The focus is understandably on Astanova’s interpretations of classical music, whose prosaic elements of eroticism and overdramatising musical narration are primarily, but not exclusively, intended for the ear of a patriarchally interpellated listener.

Author Biography

Rastko Buljančević, Doctoral student of musicology, University of Novi Sad, Academy of Arts

Rastko Buljančević is a doctoral student of musicology at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. He received two exceptional awards from the University of Novi Sad for his scientific and professional work. For one semester, he was an exchange student at the Complutense University of Madrid. His main research work focuses on the study of film music, audio-visual culture, performance studies and music criticism, with an emphasis on the sonic aspect of contemporary Spanish and Italian neorealist cinema. He recently participated in the XIII International Symposium Musical Creation on the Soundtrack. He is a member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM).