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BA (Hons) Photography

John Merrill

Unheimlich and the Marvellous - Surrealism and Photography

Surrealism is about being in a state of attentiveness and receptivity to those chance occurrences when objects, scenes and mental associations communicate themselves with more intensity than is the norm. 

The surrealist "marvellous" is the eruption of contradiction within the real. 

Unheimlich (unhomely or uncanny) is a Freudian concept in which discomfort is aroused by something that is both familiar yet foreign. 

A photograph is indexical - a trace of reality formed by light's imprint on a photo-receptive surface.  A painting is recognised as a construct that may or may not approximate reality.  Unlike a painting, a photograph is assumed to be real - even when limited to the fundamentally unreal greyscale palette.

My work for this show exploits the a priori assumption that photographs are real in order to evoke the marvellous and the unheimlich.

John Merrill - Grater


John Merrill - Twins


John Merrill - Spoon


John Merrill - Portrait


John Merrill - Knife Cut

Knife Cut

John Merrill - Chamber


Tags: Black And White, Digital, Photography, Portrait, Still Life, Surrealism

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