SynopsisSix people reveal their interpretation of the perfect black and explain their search for it.
The story begins with a view through a vast telescope in the Thuringian Forest. Dr Eike Günther, an astrophysicist specializing in discovering Earth-like planets, is on nightshift. But he’ll never find perfect black in the real universe as it only exists as a definition on paper.
Gerhard Wiesbeck is a tattoo artist. Getting a tattoo is a moment when the mask comes off, a moment of love, he says – and returns to the totally black pattern he is producing on his client’s back. His speciality is to colour bodies completely black.
Even in the depths of the ocean where light cannot penetrate, life still exists. The aphotic or ‘midnight’ zone is explored by marine biologists like Professor Antje Boetius. The black depths are her home.
Can you hear black? There are a handful of synaesthetes who associate colours with sounds. Perceiving colours as feelings is a rare phenomenon; hearing colours is almost unique. But Katja Krüger has this ability. And being a musician, she can make these sounds audible, even if she’s the only one who can feel them.
If you dedicate your life to death, you’re surrounded by black. But that’s a popular misconception, says Dorothea Stockmar, artist and formerly part of the hospice movement. Everything in life is colourful – including mourning and death. Perfect black is far more important than life or death, for by giving everything a shape it enables us to see things.
What is perfect black? The answer might be that it doesn’t exist. The six protagonists’ search for meaning is a metaphor for all the moments in which we think we know the answer.