Three silos stand out in grey against the earth, ashen as if covered by a layer of radioactive dust. Threatening undergrowth punctuates the rough surface, while the dark silhouette of a cabin watches silently from the distance. High above, against the backdrop of a milky sky that looks as if it has the consistency of semen, looms a dark sphere, austere and terrifying. A circular shadow that seems to hail from some remote and hostile galaxy, a sun that declares itself to be what it should not be, a star that neither shines, illuminates, nor radiates heat—Black Sun.

Minor White chose this title for one of his most iconic photographs, taken in 1955 in an anonymous corner of the American provinces. If we didn’t know that the photo was taken in a remote part of the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, according to the sources), upon studying the landscape we would say that it was a typical Southern Gothic scene: the kind of desolate, derelict rural hell described by Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner in their novels set in the South. For once, however, it is neither geography nor place names that convey the feeling of the shot. What does it matter where the image comes from? The ash-coated undergrowth and the black sun towering above it, if anything, tell of another world, at once familiar and alien: a world equal and opposite to the one we know, totally indifferent to stable comprehensible coordinates and known latitudes, as if the darkness that dwells in the light of things had been brought to the surface.…