The Gun Is Loaded is a 37-minute performance video featuring former punk rocker, political satirist and sexual provocateur Lydia Lunch.
In “The Gun Is Loaded” Lydia Lunch delivers a brutally frank manifesto in a journey through the heart of contemporary American darkness. Her poetic nihilism is set against a barrage of real-life street-action, scenery and news footage.
This video trails Lydia in 1988 through a series of staged sets and location shots in New York City as she fires her spoken word manifesto directly into the eye of the camera, and in haunting voice-over. Underscoring Lydia’s onslaught is cinema verité footage of bottom-rung Americana: race car crowds, dead-end streets and meat packing plants effectively illustrate her ruthless examination of “the American dream machine turned mean.” J.G. Thirlwell’s ominous score magnifies this brutal desolation. Identifying herself as “the average, all-American girl-next-store gone bad,” Lydia vivisects her own sustained damage as a product of this emotionally ravaging environment.