No vacancy gallery, 13 - 23 january 2021

The uncanny is considered to be a special form of psychological fear. Fear takes on a spatial nature to the extent that […] it is projected out of the internal space of the psyche into an external space which it thereby shapes and transforms.

Volker Adolphs, HEIMsuchung: Uncanny Spaces in Contemporary Art

Suburban Haunts considers home as a repository of memory and extension of the ego. Looking at the uncanny in a domestic setting as an expression of anxiety and alienation, I’ve been contemplating the relationship between architecture and psyche.

This body of work explores how the motifs of the uncanny can be used to consider and express contemporary anxieties around issues like the vulnerability of home, the failure to achieve an idealised lifestyle, alienation from one’s peers, and the general sense of instability of living in contemporary society.

Motifs of the uncanny include repetition, doubling, simulacra, manipulated scale, perceptual confusion, and dichotomies of familiar/unfamiliar and real/unreal.

Suburban Haunts uses these motifs to question and undermine the sense of safety, comfort, belonging and predictability associated with domesticity and suburbia. I considered how familiar images and objects could be disrupted and made unsettling, and created several layers of artifice to induce confusion of what is ‘real’ and what is fabricated.

Sigmund Freud, author of the seminal 1919 essay The Uncanny (in German unheimlich, literally ‘unhomely’), examined our discomfort when familiar things or places are somehow ambiguously or unknowably wrong. “Unhomeliness” became more than a sense of simply not belonging, but underpinned the entire concept of the familiar suddenly becoming defamiliarised, derealised, as if in a dream.

Suburban Haunts considers home as a repository of memory and extension of the ego. Looking at the uncanny in a domestic setting as an expression of anxiety and alienation, I’ve been contemplating the relationship between architecture and psyche.

This body of work explores how the motifs of the uncanny can be used to consider and express contemporary anxieties around issues like the vulnerability of home, the failure to achieve an idealised lifestyle, alienation from one’s peers, and the general sense of instability of living in contemporary society.

Motifs of the uncanny include repetition, doubling, simulacra, manipulated scale, perceptual confusion, and dichotomies of familiar/unfamiliar and real/unreal.

Suburban Haunts uses these motifs to question and undermine the sense of safety, comfort, belonging and predictability associated with domesticity and suburbia. I considered how familiar images and objects could be disrupted and made unsettling, and created several layers of artifice to induce confusion of what is ‘real’ and what is fabricated.

Sigmund Freud, author of the seminal 1919 essay The Uncanny (in German unheimlich, literally ‘unhomely’), examined our discomfort when familiar things or places are somehow ambiguously or unknowably wrong. “Unhomeliness” became more than a sense of simply not belonging, but underpinned the entire concept of the familiar suddenly becoming defamiliarised, derealised, as if in a dream.