SWAN SONG

"Swan Song"
Performed at Five Years Gallery during the show
"The Weaklings" curated by Dennis Cooper, 2011.



Extracts from an interview with writer Thomas Moore for Transductions, 2011:

Thomas Moore: Similarly, I remember talking to you in person once about our shared interest in/enthusiasm for Black Metal music. It’d be great if you could talk a little bit about your interest in the iconography that is present in that particular scene and – again – what it is that draws you to use some of that in your work.

O.B. De Alessi: I never really listened to Black Metal as a kid, I was more into Goth back then and I guess Black Metal seemed way too ‘masculine’ for my taste, a world that I was never that interested in (even when being interested in maleness I was always exploring areas where masculinity was kind of androgynous).

I started listening to Black Metal more recently as a continuation of listening to classical music. That did the trick for me, because I found out that of all types of contemporary music, Black Metal seems to be the one that most resembles classical music, in its grandness, in its pathos and in its use of recognizable iconography.

Since classical music is my favourite music, I was very excited by this discovery.

This also led me to draw connections between the use of extreme stereotypes (like “Evil” in a pure form) in Black Metal and their choice in representing such stereotypes, which is very theatrical and simple – Evil is ugly and scary – and a similar use of stereotypes in, say, opera and ballet.

In addition, Black Metal, with its music and visuals but also with its recurrent subjects like the power of the ancestors or the power or Nature, often summons something very archetypal and timeless, that instantly makes me think of some grand sound like Wagner’s.

TM: To continue an earlier theme that I posted about on Transductions: I was lucky enough to see your stunning contributions to the recent Weaklings exhibition in London. Could you talk a little bit about your experience at the show and you felt it went?

OBDA: My experience of performing at the show was great. I was nervous the days prior to the opening as there were a few technical things that had to be fixed and also because, as is often the case when I do a performance, I do things that I’m not entirely sure I am capable of doing (this time I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep my balance). But the actual performing time felt very good, as always it made a huge difference, if not all the difference to have an audience, and in the end it was a lot of fun too.

The nerve-wracking and tiring part of performing is always paid back when the performance is actually taking place, it’s extremely thrilling and fun for me to be there doing what I do.