From 31 January to 30 March 2019, the Mūkusala Art Salon's Main Gallery hosts the exhibition from the Zuzāns Collection Fear Not.
Zuzāns Collection exhibition about the Uncanny, Fear Not, turns to the fragile boundary between the frightening and the amusing. Why do we find some things frightening or funny? Why do we sometimes have to laugh while looking at art whose main aim is not making us laugh?
Extraordinary, strange creatures are called uncanny. Meanwhile uncanny situations frequently involve odd behaviour and fright mingling with laughter. The uncanny often approaches the mystical. It arises when reality blends with imagination, creating fantastical, veiled scenarios where we encounter unusual creatures in paradoxical and inexplicable situations. People are amused not only by humour but also moments that are “no joke”, such as upon encountering the ghostly, naive, inexplicable or even the aggressive.
Along with the critical nature of humour, it can also be a source of solace, a means of protection against the unknown or the inexplicable, of overcoming fear. Human existence in general can also be seen as a “joke” – our purpose in this world, seen ironically, is vaguely defined and difficult to explain.
The works of painting, graphic art, sculpture and applied art shown in the exhibition were made over the period from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries to nowadays. Staying away from seriousness yet without promising entertaining jokes, they create an environment that highlights uncanny tendencies.
Curator of the exhibition: Arta Vārpa
Exhibition design: Daniela Treija
Graphic design: Madara Krieviņa
Publicity image: Jānis Blanks. Still-Life. A Cat, a Bird and a Mouse. 2000. Oil on wood. 52 x 122 cm. Zuzāns Collection. Photo: Jānis Pipars