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[Perspectives] Strangers when we meet: David Bowie, mortality, and metamorphosis

The announcement of David Bowie’s death last month was so unexpected that it was natural to go looking for hints in his recently released album Blackstar and its accompanying videos. The clues were rapidly identified and dissected: the 10-minute video for the Blackstar single begins with an image of a spacesuit whose occupant is now a skeleton—the ultimate fate of Space Oddity’s Major Tom? The Lazarus video, meanwhile, features Bowie, his eyes bandaged, on a bed; at the end of the song, he retreats, as if pulled backwards by an invisible force, into the darkness of a heavy wooden armoire.