David Bowie is a myth. For what Blackstar is about, this is his real occasion to create his own myth. Since old times, myth is a sacred narration that gives explanations to origins of the world and his living creatures. It has a meaning that tends to be eternal. The narration of Blackstar, and the video itself, is a complete mythological narration. So David builds his own myth moving through his own death, and its representation. Why that?
We live a bizarre epoque, that forgets a lot, including death. According to the French historical Pierre Chaunu the analysis of historical statystics about our time shows that we tend to forget death. Chaunu thinks about an hypotetical future scenery in which a group of researchers will find that we have forgotten that we have to die. He found that only the 0,2% of all books talks about that. The same thing concerning representation of death, in a very modern sense, reveals that we keep it dark, silent, we even fear to name it. We live everything as a show, but forgetting to live it naturally. Ancient people used to fill it with interesting interpretations.
Ancient Egyptians, Greeks or Romans, used to do big ceremonies in order to celebrate an important funeral. Normality was to get eternal dead’s memory. Decorations, luxuries and pomps for important people. Men indeed, knew that we can pick up each skull, giving him lots of jewels, but we have to learn to look at death directly, if we don’t want to die before its arrival. We all have one thing before our eyes, now: David Bowie’s Glory. We recognize his eternity. But what if his glory would shine too much, avoiding us to see any other thing, like the light? Where is his soul? Can we see it? It’s Blackstar’s question. We should remember that at the centre of it all, the eyes that see, are ours.
Ancient Egyptians, Greeks or Romans, as preparing for their deaths, knowing that they would have been celebrated to get eternity, used to choose decorations, luxuries and pomps. Many Roman emperors gave the gardens of their villas mausoleums, places where to celebrate themselves after death, tombs like pyramids. So Emperor David imagined the place, and gave his death the dignity of an image: Ormen, a town of dark and deep streets, stoned buildings, an eternal candle, all between the mystical and the symbolism, fantasy and science-fiction, the best Bowie’s passions. He didn’t want to leave traces on this planet, maybe spreading his ashes in Bali, but in the deep space, his loved deep space. He invented and created his black star, with his town, the Villa where we all can go to give hommage to his soul, where we can go to see that candle, ask the priestesses to let us enter the celebration and that circular dance, or remembering him again in that deadly image, or in the late author, or as the Madman, or a young one or whatever else.
Ancient Egyptians, Greeks or Romans had a relation with death very different from ours. Whatever the decorations, the luxuries or the pomps that they used, the nearness between life and death was bigger once than nowadays. Many people died, but there were many occasions to think about death. Dead men had a kingdom, the Hades, who could be joint before dying, through complexes rituals like Eleusin Mysteries. Rituals of approaching, of completing the existence, stimulating reflections on human spirituality. Socrates said that men who could contemplate these Mysteria would become happy three times, because they will get down in the Hades knowing how to live there, while for other mens, there will be just pain. Mysteria were the party of entrance in the shadow and exit towards the light. The ritual was composed by things done, things said and things shown. It occurred in the idea of impossibility of saying what it was seen, because it had to produce a change in consciousness. In the same way nobody knows what Blackstar exactly means, and our lack of habit to handle the sacred moves us far to accept that there could be no meaning at all.
Two years after, we can look at Ormen, and look at David, and look at Blackstar as a unity: Blackstar is his eternity, and David looked at death with normality, as a sunshine, without particular importance, and asks us to do the same.