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Here's Everything You Need To Know About The Historical Significance Of Beyoncé And Jay-Z's "Apeshit" Video

"They're recognizing their history and how far they've been able to come despite all the oppression that they've faced historically and currently."

Last updated on June 18, 2018, at 2:54 p.m. ET

Posted on June 18, 2018, at 1:29 p.m. ET

Beyoncé and Jay-Z stunned the world after releasing a joint album on Saturday — and to make the news even sweeter, they debuted a mesmerizing visual for their song "Apeshit."

View this video on YouTube

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The video shows the power couple taking up space in one of the whitest art institutions on the continent of Europe: the Louvre, which piqued the interest of Heidi Herrera, an art history major who offered her expertise on BuzzFeed News' AM to DM.

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Herrera said that the music video is especially powerful because "most representations of people of color [in the Louvre] has been portraying them as exotic or as less than human."

"So to retake that space, they're presenting black bodies and black art and they're bringing popular culture which is often looked down on by academics and showing them this is real art, this is the current art," she said.

"They're relating it back to art history, back to those pieces, and showing that 'Look, we are here, this is our presence, this is our history,' and they're recognizing the facts that this is how black individuals have often been portrayed in the history of art," Herrera continued.

"And they're recognizing their history and how far they've been able to come despite all the oppression that they've faced historically and currently, which I think they speak a lot to in the video."

In a statement, the museum said Beyoncé and Jay Z had visited the Louvre four times in the last 10 years.

"During their last visit in May 2018, they explained their idea of filming," the Louvre added. "The deadlines were very tight, but the Louvre was quickly convinced because the synopsis showed a real attachment to the museum and its beloved artworks."

Herrera, who received her art history degree from Brigham Young University and plans to attend UC Davis for her graduate degree in the fall, started a thread on Twitter about the video that went viral.

Y’all this #Apeshit video has me losing my shit. This moment right here is the fulfillment of my art history degree. Beyoncé’s vision and talent is unmatched. Stay tuned for some thoughts. #Beyoncé #EverythingIsLove https://t.co/IMrVlyl6wf

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Though the entire thread is extremely interesting, here are some of the most thought-provoking moments. For example, Herrera said that Beyoncé and Jay-Z standing in front of the "Mona Lisa" is the couple's way of visually asserting themselves in front of Leonardo da Vinci's work. Da Vinci is one of the most well-known artists in the world.

2) The first shot of the duo is in front of the Mona Lisa, the most recognizable portrait in the museum. People from around then world flock to the Mona Lisa to take their picture with her (i.e. next image). Beyoncé (and Jay-Z I guess) is visually asserting herself as Mona Lisa. https://t.co/smpysAEDyy

Herrera broke down another scene in the video, which juxtaposes black dancers in an overwhelmingly white space with deep-rooted ties to colonialism.

1) The visual and lyrical message of #Apeshit is that Beyoncé and Jay-Z have MADE IT. They own the motherfucking Louvre which has been and still is a white-centric space with a history deeply rooted in colonialism. Thus, centering black bodies in this space is radical. https://t.co/lLafST2Urd

There's an illuminating reference to Beyoncé as Venus de Milo.

5) Here, Beyoncé once again models herself as a Greek statue, this time the Venus de Milo. However, in this shot she wears a nude bodysuit with wrapped hair, reframing both goddesses of beauty and victory as a black woman. This dismantles white-centric ideals of beauty. https://t.co/W8vRT9hoNo

Finally, there's this beautiful scene of Beyoncé with a phalanx of black women performing against the backdrop of "The Coronation of Napoleon," which has a significant meaning considering he was a notorious conquerer.

6) Most of the art featured in this video is from the Neoclassical period, meaning the Napoleonic era. Reminder, Napoleon was the worst and went around colonizing much of Egypt, Syria, etc. This painting is The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques Louis David. https://t.co/tagQgqouz0

The Carters are currently on their second On the Run tour in Europe, which kicked off in Cardiff, UK, on June 6.

The stateside leg of the tour will begin July 25 in Cleveland.

Here's Herrera's full interview:

video-player.buzzfeed.com
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