Uncanny Urges: The Familiar Made Strange

By Adi Brown.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Theory and History

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: February 3, 2015 $US5.00

This fine arts practice based research is centred on examinations of the uncanny. I am interested in strategies of the uncanny and the fetish, both Surrealist strategies and how these strategies create psychologically compelling images and objects. I perceive the uncanny in my work as the familiar made strange through eccentric juxtapositions of every day materials, objects and images. Through a diverse range of artists including Pat Brassington, Sarah Lucas, Louise Bourgeois and Mike Kelly I have explored key strategies of the uncanny to locate my own practice. I also draw theoretically from the works of Sigmund Freud, Nicholas Royle, Julia Kristeva and W.D. Winnicott. Methods of play are utilised to examine the possibility of an uncanny aesthetic through a process of bricolage whereby photographs and sculptural forms are constructed from various everyday materials available or on hand. Through this method I investigate how photographs and sculpture can operate as uncanny or fetishistic stand-ins for the body, which is always absent although a primary referent for my work.

Keywords: Uncanny, Fetish, Surrealism, Everyday, Found Object,Photography

The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, Volume 9, Issue 3-4, February 2015, pp.11-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: February 3, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 532.658KB)).

Adi Brown

Senior Lecturer, School of Creative Technologies, Wellington Institute of Technology, Wellington, New Zealand