Uncanny Encounters
September 16, 2011–January 22, 2012

Uncanny Encounters

In the exhibition “Uncanny Encounters”, Istanbul Modern Photography Gallery featured recent works by six younger generation female artists from Turkey. The artists not only dealt with the philosophical, sociocultural, individual, and artistic aspects of uncanny encounters through their visual narratives, but they also explored the possibilities of photography today.

"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?

Held simultaneously with the exhibition "Dreams and Reality", "Uncanny Encounters" approached the topic from diverse perspectives and contributed some new questions of its own. The scope of this research will be extended by a series of conversations and meetings featuring the artists and experts.

Artists: Silva Bingaz, Banu Cennetoğlu, Çınar Eslek, Zeren Göktan, Zeynep Kayan, Melisa Önel

Curators: Çelenk Bafra, Levent Çalıkoğlu