This article outlines the concept of doing celebrity: whereby celebrity and pop stardom are presented as a deliberately constructed set of actions and behaviours, rather than an ontology. It does so by conceptualising celebrity as something one does, not something one is. The article examines Grace Jones’ 2015 memoir, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, as an example which contravenes theclaim – in both celebrity culture and autobiography – to offer up access to an authentic self. This article reveals an embrace of performativity over authenticity that Jones presents as part of a wider art practise. This self-representational move claims the masculinised status of creative agent and author of the star image and seeks a level of cultural value otherwise often denied to the female pop star celebrity. The concept of doing celebrity, therefore, opens up new ways to consider the means available to public women to navigate the negative value judgements associated with female celebrity as a cultural field.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of History, Philosophy and Culture
Year of publication: 2019Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-05-16