The work Black Sun (2005) by Sue de Beer consists of an initially confusing and seemingly loose narration that is divided into several chapters with titles. However, the chapter entitled “Night of the World” appearing towards the end of the piece provides the missing thread of the storyline and allows the viewer to structure the roughly chronological plot differently.

The setting of the film is the inside of a house that recalls a typical New England home, much like in the novels of Hawthorne or Poe. By watching the film, the viewers accompany the protagonist through three stages of evolution.

The scenes do not follow a linear sequence. Instead, they repeat, foreshadow, and flash back to themselves, sometimes even presenting the viewer with new performers. The film is virtually devoid of any dialogue, the only verbal communication being a few monologues extracted from novels by the American writer Dennis Cooper.

The chapter entitled “Night of the World” appears in the third and last part of the video, shortly before the end.Its title alludes to its setting and ambiance, which are essential to understanding its crucial scenes. Derived from Hegel, the leitmotif “Nacht der Welt” was taken up again by Slavoj Žižek to describe the character of the contemporary subject. In “Night of the World,” de Beer establishes a connection between contemporary subjectivity and the theme of “Depression and Melancholia,” as discussed in the book Black Sun (from which de Beer derived her own work’s title) by French literary theorist and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva. - EB

A R T I S T  /  D I R E C T O R  S U E  D E  B E E R

Sue de Beer is an artist who uses video, installation, photography and sculpture to explore the connections between memory, history and architecture. De Beer earned her B.F.A from Parsons School of Design and her M.F.A from Columbia University and is the recipient of the Philip Morris Emerging Artist Prize from the American Academy in Berlin. She has exhibited in such venues as the New Museum, The MoMa, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, Kunst Werke, ZKM Karlsruhe and the Busan Biennial at Busan Museum of Modern Art.

De Beer’s work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Museum for Contemporary  Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Goetz Collection.

B L A C K  S U N Artist / Director - Sue de Beer

Producer - Sue de Beer  /  Starring - Lena Herrgesell, Julia Hartmann, Willy Rachow, Klara Hoffels and introducing Haluk Atalayman (as the Pony)

Language - English  /  Length - 23 min /  Kind PermissionSue de Beer, Christian Ehrentraut

Screenings / Exhibitions

The Whitney Museum, Altria, NYC, March - June 2005

Between Two Deaths, “ Zentrum Fuer Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany May - August 2007

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