The Uncanny

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The uncanny is a concept in psychology and aesthetics that refers to a feeling of discomfort or unease that arises when something seems familiar, yet strange or unfamiliar at the same time. The term was popularized by Sigmund Freud in his essay “The Uncanny” (1919), in which he explored the psychological roots of this feeling.

According to Freud, the uncanny arises when something that is usually familiar and safe becomes strange and unsettling. This can occur, for example, when a familiar object or place is presented in an unusual or distorted way, or when something that is normally hidden or repressed is suddenly revealed.

The uncanny has been explored in a wide range of artistic contexts, from literature and film to visual art and performance. Artists often use the uncanny as a way to create an atmosphere of tension and mystery, and to explore themes such as identity, memory, and trauma.

The uncanny has had a significant impact on contemporary art and culture, and continues to be a popular and influential theme in art and literature. It is often celebrated for its ability to evoke complex emotions and ideas, and for its ability to challenge our assumptions about the nature of reality and representation.