ARENA 1 Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of the fall 2012 exhibition season with Doppelgangsters- the Prequel organized by artist/curator Allen Tombello. The exhibition opens Saturday, September 1st with a reception for the artists on Saturday, September 8th. The exhibition continues through September, 30th.
A survey exhibition, Doppelgangsters - the Prequel considers how eight contemporary artists create psycho-spatial displacements using figuration in sculpture and installation. These “Doppelgangsters” give expression to the uncanny (Freud’s concept when a thing is familiar yet foreign creating a feeling of discomfort), the uncanny valley (in robotics the human response of revulsion when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings), and the doppelganger.
The dissonance posed by artificial doubling can feel like a threat to identity itself and consequently to our understanding of how we attribute identity to objects and humans. The experience of the living robot or the doppelganstered object can be so rich and compelling that it challenges our notions of specialness, eliciting existential anxiety that paves the way for the uncanny moment to occur, forcing us to reconsider the nature of what we, as well as objects that surround us, really are.
While their practices are complicated by considerations of scale and material, all the artists in the exhibition challenge the viewer’s preconceived perceptions of the everyday. By creating doubles and copies, they ask us to look and look again at works that span the quotidian - a bike, a toilet paper roll, a parking block or a children’s puzzle.