Two ghostly faces, black and white, negative and solarised float in the frame
Film

The Black Sun (Die Schwarze Sonne)

Johannes Hammel
17:00–17:30 Sun 19 Nov
Tramway
 / Glasgow

Film with English Subtitles

The Black Sun (Die Schwarze Sonne)

Dir: Johannes Hammel, 1992, Austria & Switzerland

In the early sixties, maybe still in his teens, Delany wrote Aye, and Gomorrah. Its Sci-fi premise of radiation-resistant state-neutered space travellers allows him to explore androgyny, sexual identity, fetishisation, state exploitation of non-normative bodies, labour, sex work and reproduction. It’s only 11 pages long, and more than 50 years old, but it discusses all of this with a nuance and subtlety way ahead of its time.

Johannes Hammel’s The Black Sun uses Delany’s story to create a spookily beautiful world—a negative and forever solarised montage of backwards cigarettes, stark make-up and irradiated bodies—where asexual bodies live in the contradiction of their unarousable loneliness and desire for intimacy and contact.