Social and Artistic Approaches in Scandinavian Art and Extreme Metal

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Abstract

Black metal, at first seen as a controversial subculture, became in medial space gradually emancipated with other manners of mainstream artistic expression, balancing the visual focus of the scene with its radical ideology. The stabilization of black metal’s position, however, would not occur if not for the scene’s attempt to include the modified elements of mainstream culture into its own subcultural structures. This appropriation in Scandinavian black metal has often been channeled through the reuse of motifs and artworks originating from regional heritage, as the genre excerpted not only a visual approach toward familiar themes but also internalized their sociocultural backgrounds. Thus, depending on the method of reuse of a particular text, the revival of art in the subcultural reality modified its original meanings, while interacting with the new postulates of the black metal scene. Such appropriative tactics determines autopoietic dynamics of black metal, locating sources of its collective and individual identity in themes already acknowledged by artistic discourse.