By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
And then Rice is off, elaborating on all of the historical and thematic ideas buried in Black Sun.
“I‘ve been reading all sorts of obscure ancient texts: rabbinic writings, apocryphal biblical texts, Sumerian texts, Chaldean texts. There are old magical incantations where mixed among the names of the demons are biblical patriarchs like Abraham and Jacob and Isaac. There’s a rabbinic text which says there‘s a tradition that regarded Cain as the son of Adam’s first wife, Lilith. Therefore Cain was in the Garden of Eden before Eve was in the Garden of Eden. And then there‘s another tradition that says that the serpent seduced Eve, and so Cain was the byproduct of Lucifer, not Adam.
”There was one black-sun symbol that was used by the Merovingians that’s like a circle with a black dot in the middle and a bunch of lightning bolts coming out. Heinrich Himmler used that same symbol in the floor of the Nazis‘ Wewelsburg castle. There might have been more connections between these secret societies than most people suspect. Jean Cocteau was friends with Arno Breker, who was the most popular artist in Nazi Germany . . .“
So Black Sun would seem an exploration of the still-half-buried sources of Judeo-Christian mythology. But is anything so simple when it comes to Boyd Rice, who’s been using controversial images and symbols for years, and who obviously takes great interest in hidden meaning?
A couple of weeks after I spoke with the affable Mr. Non, a friend passed me a lengthy investigative piece from the London Guardian entitled ”Flirting With Hitler,“ in which the article‘s author, John Hooper, reports from Germany on how the extreme fringes of different contemporary German subcultures -- Goth, neo-Nazism, neo-folk pure-race paganism and Satanism -- are meeting. One of the badges that people active in this ”scene“ wear has the black-sun symbol on it. Yes, it was once a pagan fertility symbol, Hooper writes. But it’s also considered to be a sign of the SS.
Is the title Children of the Black Sun a sly nod to this supposed growing movement of white, right-wing, neopagan racists in Germany and other parts of Europe? Or is it exactly what Rice says it is? What does it say about Rice that he uses such loaded iconography in his art?
Perhaps Cocteau himself can offer some insight here. ”The interpretation of myths is indispensable to our lives,“ he says in Edgardo Cozarinsky‘s 1984 documentary, Jean Cocteau: Autobiography of an Unknown. ”They are passed on through writing, as stories are passed on by word of mouth, magnifying or drying them up, but undergoing a transformation according to the personality of the tellers. The great myths are few . . . The key-myth opens for the poet the most locked of souls.
“I’ve always preferred mythology to history. Because history is made up of truths which eventually turn into lies -- mythology is made up of lies that eventually become truths.”
NON | Children of the Black Sun | (Mute CD and DVD)