One of the first images of Taylor Swift in the video for 1989’s second single, “Blank Space,” is a sinister version of herself sitting on a massive bed in black lace. The image is far removed from “Love Story” Swift, where the singer wore a white ball gown and stared longingly at her Romeo. “She knows that people talk about her,” Joseph Kahn, the video’s director, tells Rolling Stone. “She knows that there’s this meme that if you date Taylor Swift, you’re going to end up getting a song written about you. She wanted to address that.”
What we get in this new blank space is a “deconstructivist version of Taylor Swift,” as Kahn explains. Throwing flower pots, brandishing a butcher knife and destroying paintings of her latest lover are some of the ways we get to see the villainous Swift in her new video. The concept may come as a welcome shock to fans only familiar with Swift’s more benevolent side.
“She is truly an entertainer,” notes Kahn, who previously helmed Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and Muse’s “Knights of Cydonia.” “To be able to invest herself so fully into such a villainous character shows how much of a great entertainer she is.” While poking fun at the idea of her long list of song subjects, Swift’s real blank space for her fans seems to remain herself.