UPDATE (11/13): Es Devlin, Lorde’s collaborator on her Melodrama Tour stage design, took to Instagram to share other examples of her work in which glass boxes are featured heavily. Devlin posted three stills from the 2007 staging of ‘Carmen’ at the English National Opera, which also used a suspended glass box with performers inside as part of its set design. Devlin did not address the controversy directly, or respond to a request for comment.
Lorde is not happy with Kids See Ghosts. The singer took to Instagram to claim Kanye West and Kid Cudi stole the design for the floating, glass rectangular box they performed in at Camp Flog Gnaw this weekend from her.
“I’m proud of the work I do and it’s flattering when other artists feel inspired by it, to the extent that they choose to try it on themselves,” she wrote on Instagram. “But don’t steal — not from women or anyone else — not in 2018 or ever.” The floating stage was created by Es Devlin and Lord and debuted during her 2017 Coachella performance.
New Instagram story of Lorde acknowledging Kanye’s fishtank stage design! pic.twitter.com/lhGFQBvlEc
— Lorde Daily (@LordeDaily) November 12, 2018
“I built the show with [stage designer] Es Devlin, who I have admired for a really long time. And from the jump, we were just wanting to head towards something that we felt like we hadn’t seen,” she said in an interview with Spinoff in 2017. “It’s hard to come up with stuff that feels new, and with the tank it felt weird and interesting and quite specific to me…The two of us just built it from the ground up, bouncing ideas back and forth. I decided that I wanted the show to follow the arc of an evening in my life and I loved the idea of the show having a narrative – have a peak and having falls and slowly building in the same way that an evening does.”
West has a decades-long working relationship with the artist and designer, including the monolithic set design for his and Jay Z’s Watch The Throne tour. However, Lorde’s assertion of theft was quickly met with a mixture of bewilderment and confusion, with many people sharing photos of artists who have also performed in clear parallelograms.
Justin Bieber performed in a clear glass box during his 2016 Purpose tour. Earlier this year, A$AP Rocky was part of the performance installation “Lab Rat,” while promoting his album Testing. Kendrick Lamar’s BRIT Awards performance also included a… you guessed it, glass box. So, either a lot of artists are stealing the sauce or modern artists just like being trapped in a glass case of emotions.