Adam Farcus – Uncanny

These images were found on,, facebook, myspace, flickr, blogspot and google search – adam farcus


2 responses to “Adam Farcus – Uncanny

  1. OK I admit – I had to look up the definition of “uncanny”. What bothers me about this series is that the lack of authenticity in some of the photos (Janet and Justin, or the cats, for example) alters my reading of the whole. To me, what is potentially uncanny about some of the more realistic photos is enhanced by the fact that they are photos, i.e. capturing the supposedly real. So when there are obviously faked photos in the set, they make me question whether other “supernatural” looking photos are really uncanny after all. Having said that, on another level, the Janet and Justin photo is weird enough by itself to be uncanny, so that works for me, albeit in a different way.

  2. How “the Uncanny” is defined through these photos is somewhat vague – though there are interesting connected image sets within the larger grouping. For a compelling approach to this theme, as applied mainly to figurative sculptures, I recommend Mike Kelley’s exhibition catalog for a show he curated in 1993 titled “The Uncanny”. It’s hard to find but I can bring in my copy. There is a more expanded version of the book (which I don’t have) that is also hard to find and expensive but has much better illustrations. Maybe UIC’s library can borrow it for you if they don’t have either one?

    Kelley was mainly working in response to Freud’s essay on The Uncanny (If memory serves – I’m out of the country and away from my copy of the book) and applying this idea to figural objects that included sculptures but also things like anatomical models, props from horror films, sex dolls, CPR dummies, and sculptural fragments where the body was broken apart. Taken as a whole, his book and exhibit pin down some particular uncanny qualities across a broad array of cultural objects. You have some great images here but I think this could have been helped by a bit more context for how you are locating or understanding the idea of the uncanny.

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