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…an uncanny effect is often and easily produced when the distinction between imagination and reality is effaced, as when something that we have hitherto regarded as imaginary appears before us in reality…
– Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny
I have no idea where this will lead us. But I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.
– Special Agent Dale Cooper
A dim light appears in your peripheral vision. Your eyes are tired but the light is getting brighter and demanding attention. You look towards it and through the slumped hairs of your eyelashes, the light begins to appear more clearly. It can’t be fully made out but you’re certain it’s some sort of image. Of what: you cannot tell. For who: you presume yourself. It’s purpose: only to pull you away from your usual lulled state. You take a sip of your now cold, stale coffee and brush a wilted flower to the floor that had somehow found its way onto your desk. You exhale slowly and turn your head to face the image again. Your brow furrows and your lip twitches when you realise the image has gone. But soon enough, you turn your head back to its original position and return to your preferred lulled state.
Searching for magic and the distorted image falling from your iCloud examines contemporary painting’s relationship with the surreal, magical and mysterious. The exhibition explores this in various ways through works that depict the surreal mundanity of everyday existence or works that explore magical environments and subjects through the artist’s own imagination. Although these strange images come from a place that seems not quite real, they are displayed in an environment that asks you to look directly at them. In this way, the exhibition seeks to blur the boundary between what is secret and what is shown; an examination of the relationship between the intangible and the concrete.
The exhibition also asks us to examine contemporary painting’s current relationship to technology and how modern technologies have affected and influenced the way painters work. This is shown through painting that may rely on digital imagery to be created or paintings that themselves directly examine digital technology today. Painting’s relationship to technology is also explored through the inclusion of digital works – video and print – that examine the confluence between humans, images and technology.
Curated by Kwaku Boateng and Tabitha Steinberg