Uncanny Stories at Unisa Art Gallery | Art.co.za Art Exhibition Listings
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Art Exhibitions

Uncanny Stories

7 December 2021

 Uncanny Stories observes how often the familiar becomes strange and the strange becomes familiar. Focusing on the tensions between known and unknown, ordinary existence and intriguing events that write peculiar new stories into our lives...This characteristic is connected to a history of making strange, as can be found in the concept of the uncanny/Das Unheimliche by Sigmund Freud (1919) and developed by psychoanalysts (Lacan) and feminists (Kristeva). In each of these cases we find an anxiety in real and authentic life, an anxiety not with the unfamiliar, but with the normal.
When the familiar is ruptured, we encounter the uncanny, but when it is continuously reified, like in The Stepford Wives, we find it there too. This concept has been extended to the notion of the Uncanny Valley in animation, video games or robotics producing disturbing feelings of antipathy where we should feel empathy, like encountering a doppelgänger or impostor. In these interactions, things we are at ease with are placed in unexpected perspectives, and it can evoke narrative of disquiet, mortality awareness or simply stories where we become part of our fantasies.
The idea of the uncanny has also been linked to discourses of dispossession, “unhomely” locations (Nayar 2010) or domains, rendered through strategies of sensory ambiguity. Being “out-of joint’’ with ideas can also foster critical thinking and bring new appreciation for our world – the rush of blood when your heartbeat quickens, when social subversion shifts of power relations (Kokoli 2016) and new narratives find expression.
Curated by Dr Gwenneth Miller, The exhibition features work from Unisa Staff members, Third Level students, and maquettes for the developing Unisa Science Campus Art Walk.


Staff members

Ania Krajewska, Johann Opperman, Hetta Pieterse, Kabelo Maja, Nombe Mpako, Elfriede Dreyer, Gwenneth Miller, Daniel Mosako, Sango Filita


Third Level students

Ryan Botha, Kirsty Swanepoel, Gerda Letellier, Sue Clark, Chantal Essex-Ferreira, Johanna Botha


Collaborative projects exhibiting maquettes and proposals for the Unisa Science Campus Art Walk

Sue Clark and Kabelo Maja, Dionne MacDonald, Hetta Pieterse and the Andrew Lindsay community team, Emma Willemse and Heinrich Joemath from Spier Arts Trust

/ Alicia Hindson and Lushen Moodley, Marian Hester and Mbangiso Babaso, Linda Hanekom, Reinhardt Sonntag, Ingrid Bolton, Manu Manjesh Lal and Alex Trapani


Address: Unisa Muckleneuk Campus, Kgorong Building, Ground Floor, Preller Street
Tel: 012 441 5883
Gallery Hours: Tuesdays - Fridays, 10:00 - 16:00.


Umhlaba / The World

Participating: Bongi Bengu

Opening: Thursday 11 August 2022 at 18:30 - 1 September 2022

View exhibition details...

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