The Uncanny

The Uncanny  (youtube link to video)

The Uncanny (Ger. Das Unheimliche)– “the opposite of what is familiar”) is a  Freudian concept of an instance where something can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange or uncomfortably familiar.

Because the uncanny is familiar, yet strange, it often creates  cognitive distance within the experiencing subject due to the paradoxical nature of being attracted to, yet repulsed by an object at the same time. This cognitive dissonance often leads to an outright rejection of the object, as one would rather reject than rationalize. (taken from ‘Wikipedia’)

My work is about trying to put a finger on a feeling, on the notion that everything that seems familiar to us can also be perceived as foreign, strange, uncanny… St. Louis was my inspiration, because it’s not a heavily populated city, it can be fairly common to walk around some very deserted places and start feeling uncomfortable by that, for no apparent reason. The bubbling underneath the surface, the feeling that something is about to happen or already did, kind of like the ‘calm after he storm’- was my guideline, and I was trying to apply that feeling into ordinary looking places and objects, and transferring some of that experience to the viewer.

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