A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
In this cinematically-rich documentary, Jessica Yu portrays the life and work of Henry Darger (1892-1973), a reclusive Chicago janitor whose art and writing were discovered after his death. Darger has become famous for his 15,145-page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story. The artwork is a mix of paintings, drawings, and collages portraying a wide variety of subjects ranging from idyllic scenes in Edwardian interiors and tranquil flowered landscapes populated by children and fantastic creatures, to scenes of horrific terror and carnage depicting young children being tortured and massacred. Danger’s body of work has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art.