"Uncanny" (Unheimlich) is a concept employed mainly in art and philosophy to describe the unsettling feeling evoked by something that is strange and foreign, yet astonishingly close and familiar at the same time. Uncanniness has ties to a peculiar sense of "déjà vu," and implies the unpredictable, the unexpected, the unclear, the recalled, and the uncertain. The first encounter with a photograph generates an uncanny feeling. Certain photographs also present a subject, object, or form which can be uncanny, and the photographer’s own approach may render the visual outcome uncanny. If so, does the fact that some photographs strike us as remote or close have something to do with the unconscious? If a photograph can express different meanings to the photographer and to the viewer, how can it be related to the individual memory?
The Uncanny Encounters photography exhibition features recent works by six younger generation female artists from Turkey. The artists not only deal with the philosophical, sociocultural, individual, and artistic aspects of uncanny encounters through their visual narratives, but they also explore the possibilities of photography today. The scope of this research will be extended by a series of conversations and meetings featuring the artists and experts.
Curators: Çelenk Bafra, Levent Çalıkoğlu
Left: Melisa Önel, 1980 From the Clouds From a Different Time Series 2009
Right: Zeynep Kayan, 1986 From the Torn Series 2010