Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Costumes and props

One of the things that I've always found intriguing about the iconography of early Norwegian Black Metal is the different eras to which the costumes and props of Burzum's Kristian 'Varg' Vikernes and Mayhem's Øystein 'Euronymous' Aarseth referred.

'Varg' Vikernes brandished a mace, a crude and barbarous weapon that as no other points towards medieval times. Also, according to the "Satan Rir Media" documentary Vikernes sought to provoke the Norwegian police wearing a suit of armor.

'Euronymous' on the other hand wore a long cape and flourished an épée (fencing sword), a weapon that points to the late-seventeenth century, the time of Alexandre Dumas "Les Trois Mousquetaires", absolutism and Enlightenment.

There is a photograph of Euronymous wielding the aforementioned - Vikernes's - mace, but (without wanting to get into Freudian metaphors) the mace hangs limp and Euronymous looks as if he doesn't know quite to do with it. But that shouldn't be surprising ... in a sense, it is the weapon of his murderer.

Obviously, that the costumes and props of Euronymous and Vikernes refer to different eras, signifies something: I feel it is perhaps part of a larger discursive clash between 'Varg' Vikernes and 'Euronymous', of which the costume and props are merely the tip of the iceberg.


Anonymous said...

Ha...or maybe it's similar to a Warhammer FRPG where the Nordic barbarian (with or without a rake) lives easily next to the swashbuckling renaissance man...

Or am I showing my cards too much now...


valter said...

Well in fact Kristian Vikernes was a roleplayer - in the Satan Rir Media documentary you can see that Vikernes owns a lot of AD&D 'Ravenloft' material.