The author “has been wearing black since 1986 because the uprising is not over yet”. It is a simple but crucial concept to approach an essay that, through a diverse, multifaceted and very personal cultural lens, tells a genre that is actually a lifestyle. The book published by Milieu has the title “The black wave – 40 years of (counter) dark culture” (p. 151, € 15.90, with a preface by the sociologist Ester Cois). He wrote it Giacomo Pisanojournalist, inventor of Nemesis Magazine, animator of endless artistic projects, a “dark” soul who moves freely in the dazzling clarity of Cagliari, a city of absolute whites, which in contrast has shaded areas replicated over time through rituals, bordering on mystery. This is not a didactic text by Pisano, far from it. You will not find the usual list of bands and musicians who have marked – and mark – indomitable sequences of generations. Of course there is music inside “The Black Wave” but it is one of the aspects of a complex, mercurial imaginary.
Giacomo Pisano shows us this based on art. And that’s not coincidental, as he has a degree in medieval archeology. He says: “The love of this historical period has certainly played a role in the creation of my imagination. It is a time full of extraordinary discoveries in the medical and scientific field, but frowned upon because of superstition and fear in ordinary thinking. I tried to do with this book is precisely to emphasize the stereotypes that do not allow us to open our minds and that force us to think in false patterns “.
And indeed The purpose of the essay is to remove any kind of prejudice about what is beautiful, good, acceptable, “normal”. Art, from Bosch’s demonic visions to the most iconic painting – “The Monastery of the Oak Tree” by Caspar David Friedrich from 1810 – passing through Baudelaire’s “cursed” literature and the Italian crepuscularism of Gozzano and Corazzini, up to the horrors and powerful cinema of the 1920s and 1930s with masterpieces such as Dracula, Nosferatu, Mummies. Monsters are among us, but we often rock them inside, as the “dark side” of our private moons. From this formidable humus are born bubbling, disturbing, suggestions, currents. The appearance – the total black, the dramatic quotes, the powder like white lead, the fiery red lips – is only the appearance of the wrapping, but becomes a kind of uniform to learn / recognize oneself beyond the unbearable world of common sense. That is, the form becomes the essence, and therefore the expression.
Pisano, who is a great connoisseur of fashion and body art, speaks of “aesthetic codes as a non-verbal language that leaves certain garments or accessories to the task of playing a role”. Elaboration between news, events, suggestions and cultural reflections we come directly to dark music, born on the wave of post-punk in England in the 80swhen the no-future revolt leaves room for other, more sophisticated, underground forms of protest. He’s a descendant of Batcave, the London club in Soho, where Robert Smith of Cure takes his first steps, Alien Sex Fiend, Specimen, Sex Band Children, Skeleton Family, Siouxsie Sioux the queen of the Banshees.
Lady F. Valeria Spiga’s picture
This is the beginning of “goth”, the gothic that is not only sound movement but is much and much more. Pisano traces the etymology to the people of the Goths, Germanic barbarians, destroyers of ancient traditions, therefore innovators are tentatively moving towards the pre-established canons. As far as I am concerned, however, I choose the explanation from Fulcanelli, the occult author of “The Mystery of the Cathedrals”, where Gothic is similar to Argotic, it is a language made up of codes reserved for a sect of the Illuminati. The symbols of the Gothic churches – the statues, the spirals, the monsters, the gargoyles of Notre Dame – resemble the piercings, the latex, the tattoos of a people who communicate through signs to show that difference is virtue. Who uses his own body as an expression of art and extreme geography of flesh. Which goes through life as if it were a notion to erase any taboo, pre-determined definition, dogma.
It is clear that goth music speaks to the depths and dissonances of the soul. It is pulsating, restless, hypnotic, repetitive. It tears like a scratch. And‘Joy Division’s scream of pain and the impressive sanctity between the earth and the afterlife of Dead Can Dance is the diabolical litany of Diamanda Galas, it’s Virgin Prune’s industrial sabbath. Pisano tells us a scene with a thousand voices, which over time has always changed its skin, a polymorphic and liquid snake. From Marilyn Manson to Emo, from Throbbing Gristle to Einstürzende Neubauten through Death In June, Current 93 up to the new trends of the third millennium. Not a single style, but a sum of trends between electronics, noise, metal clashes, tribal and esoteric pop.
But most of all “The Black Wave” by Giacomo Pisano is a gesture of love for a subculture which, in its even more extreme aspects, knows how to welcome all diversity, which accepts the “monster” and is not afraid of it (yes, it leads it to dance)who takes the liberty to probe the depths and turmoil of the heart of every species and nature.
As Ian Curtis sang:
“Take the chance and get out.
Lose some sleep and say you tried.
Meet the frustration face to face.
One point of view creates several waves’.