‘The Heart’s Filthy Lesson’ promo video

The video for David Bowie's 1995 single 'The Heart's Filthy Lesson' featured a montage of art-style mutilations and gory objets d'art....

The video for David Bowie’s 1995 single ‘The Heart’s Filthy Lesson’ featured a montage of art-style mutilations and gory objets d’art and was subsequently edited when shown on MTV. The video was directed by Samuel Bayer, the man behind Nirvana’s classic ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ video. In interviews, Bowie commented on the “ritual art” aspects of Outside:

“My input revolved around the idea of ritual art — what options were there open to that kind of quasi-sacrificial blood-obsessed sort of art form? And the idea of a neo-paganism developing — especially in America — with the advent of the new cults of tattooing and scarification and piercings and all that. I think people have a real need for some spiritual life and I think there’s great spiritual starving going on. There’s a hole that’s been vacated by an authoritative religious body — the judaeo-Christian ethic doesn’t seem to embrace all the things that people actually need to have dealt with in that way — and it’s sort of been left to popular culture to soak up the leftover bits like violence and sex.”

Ian Penman, “The Resurrection of Saint Dave,” Esquire Magazine (October 1995)