The value of dark art and the use of the via negativa in narrative works is something that I’ve been pondering for many years. It started with my fondness for Joy Division and then got mixed in to Mormon art by the emergence of Brian Evenson and Neil LaBute, two of America’s most conspicuous practitioners of the via negativa as well as (coincidentally or….?) former Mormons (of sorts). My instinct is that there is value in dark art, but that the location of that value needs to be carefully delineated and contextualized and varies from work to work, that a wholesale defense of darkness in art wraps its arms around too much to be either useful or defensible.
So it with that humming away in the back of my mind, along with a few other persistent aesthetic concerns, that I read this morning this Glen Hansard interview with rock critic Greg Kot. Continue reading “Glen Hansard on imagining darkness”