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In this dissertation I will be exploring the notion of the uncanny particularly through the concept of the doppelgänger. This deliberation will be taken in chapters, bringing focus to the core topics which direct the subject of the ‘familiar’ feeling somewhat ‘unfamiliar’. This essay will specifically be focusing on the notion of the ‘double’, analysing this through 3 different mediums; installation, film and photography. In what way have they incorporated the double and how its been presented. 
The first chapter of this text will be introducing the works of Gregor Schneider’s installation ‘Die Famillie Schneider’, Diane Arbus’ photograph ‘Identical Twins’ and Darren Aronofsky’s film ‘Black Swan’, exploring how the “double” have been used how they have addressed the particular notions of the uncanny, unknown and unfamiliar within their work through the use of ‘the double’. 
In the second chapter, this essay will proceed to consider how film is heavily influenced on the theme of not only the unfamiliar but specifically the concept of the doppelgänger, using ‘The Black Swan’ as a main reference to the psychological state of the double. In addition exploring how this theme in film influences work in the art world and vis a versa, for instance Diane Arbus’ work who used the theme of the ‘double’ in her practice, heavily influencing the concept of the twins in ‘The Shining’.
Approaching my final chapter of this essay I will study the use of audio within each of these pieces. The use of audio within film, installation and even the lack of sound within photography is very important to the audience’s interpretations and how they evoke a response from the viewer.
Reaching my conclusion I aim to have built a comprehensive understanding of the abundance of concepts that contribute to this topic, and apply it to that of contemporary art in the endeavour to all of which is unknown of ‘the uncanny’. 

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This essay aims to explore the subject of paranoia, fear and the absence of presence created within ones practice, reviewing the effect and impact it provokes on the audience. I will be discussing the subject of the ubiquitousness of fear and the journey of art’s engagement within todays artistic tone. The manner in which the dematerialisation of the art matter to that of the familiar and non-existent has materialised, and how it brings rise to the constant paradoxical concept of fear that inhabits the uncanny and the unknown. 
The theories which have been developed around the subject of life’s residues of the uncanny will be explored, applying the more prominent critics and psychoanalytical findings of Sigmund Freud, with particular reference to appropriating themes of the ‘double’, repetition, notions of the intellectual uncertainty and ultimately ones innate and primal instincts which imposes ones acts within the living world. 

Sigmund Freud’s theory of ‘The Uncanny’ will be examined, drawing from his explanation of how “the uncanny is that class of the frightening which leads back to what is known of old and long familiar” and question “how this is possible, in what circumstances 
the familiar can become uncanny and frightening”. How does life create this distortion in 
emotion? Through analysis of theory and it’s influence on concept and contemporary art, these are the questions this essay aims to seek and discover. 
Something simultaneously known but unfamiliar at the same time is known as the uncanny. A Freudian term resulting in one feeling discomfort, originally identified by Ernst Jentsch who’s essay ‘On the Psychology of the Uncanny’ explores. Within this text he defines the uncanny being the outcome of intellectual uncertainty.
Through his aesthetic investigations, Freud elaborates on the uncanny which have intrigued many artists since the publication of his essay ‘The Uncanny’.To aesthetically represent and create work that evokes the uncanny impression, artists have attempted from surrealism to contemporary art which suggests this to the viewer.


Portraying the aesthetics of the uncanny and the “double”, Gregor Schneider presents his installation ‘Die Familie Sochneider’ creating a similar residue. Introducing Victor Shklovsky’s concept of de-familiarisation, it is this uncomfortable feeling of having the familiar feel somewhat unfamiliar, allowing one to create cognitive relations that link the notions with the physical elements of the artworks in a subconscious manner. In Shklovsky’s essay ‘Art as Technique’ in 1917, he discussed the notion of ‘de-familiarisation’, while describing the thought process behind de-familiarisation he explains that the technique of art was to make the object unfamiliar,

‘And so life is reckoned as nothing. Habitualisation devours work, clothes, furniture, one’s wife, and the fear of war. “If the whole complex lives of many people go on unconsciously, then such lives are as if they had never been.” And art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony. The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects “unfamiliar,” to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object: the object is not important… After we see an object several times, we begin to recognise it. The object is in front of us and we know about it, but we do not see it4 -hence we cannot say anything, significant about it. Art removes objects from the automatism of perception in several ways”

Creating a similar residue within his work ‘Die Familie Schneider’, Schneider has implied the uncanny of the “double” in his work. It can be seen that Schneider has integrated the familiar and unfamiliar throughout his piece. Two identical houses have been used by the artist in London’s East End, number 14 and 16 in Walden Street, similar in every detail, every inch of the house from the furnishings to a crack in the wall and inhabited by the same families doing the same, unseemly things such as a man showering in the bathroom and a woman washing dishes in the kitchen.

Gradually making their way through Schneider’s unnerving structure, the occupants in each room do not pay any attention to the visitor, ignoring that there is another person in the room as though they are not there, making you no longer a participant of the work but a viewer, the watcher. Supporting the unsettling experience of the identical houses, in Gregor Schneider’s book ‘Die Familie Schneider’ alongside the intricate documented series of photographs of his work writings are presented throughout the piece. Due to the participants to the piece having no authorisation to return or have access to the first house they entered, they had to base their comparisons entirely from what details they could remember, stretching to another level of discomfort, previously investigated by Vito Acconci, Chris Burden, Santiago Sierra, the horror provoked by the unforeseen presence of another human body. When one commences to acknowledge that neither exist, and both are fictitious as “double”s in order to mask “the absence of a basic reality”, the work will then halt to initiate an uncanny effect towards the viewer. Both exist as simulated and orchestrated spaces, the dismal yet familiar domesticity that they create is entirely simulated. When seen as a part of something that has no authentic alternative, it results in an uncanny experience that relies on the idea of something that is real. 
Therefore the uncanny experience is reliant on our realisation of one of the parts as real and one as fake, on the proposal of the “double”.

One may say that installation art is very similar to film. When watching a film you are are surrounded by darkness, only seeing this virtual reality presented in front of you. Being immersed in the dark allows your mind to travel into this “other world”, almost acting like a virtual installation that the audience can interact with.The notion of the “double” is incorporated within many films; ‘The Shining’, ‘Vertigo’, ‘Adaptation’, however I will be discussing the use of the doppelgänger in the psychological thriller ‘Black Swan’ and how the audience’s reactions may differ to those interacting with an installation or even a still image. 
Darren Aronofsky brings the story of the original Black Swan ballet to life by generating a psychological strain within the main character Nina. This film concentrates on a young ballerina Nina (who is played by Natalie Portman), who has a dream of dancing the lead of the Swan Queen. That day she arrives at her dance studio to discover the lead dancer Beth has been fired as she’s seen as ‘too old’ to continue dancing as a ballerina. The director Thomas follows to announces to everyone that their first performance will be Swan Lake, holding auditions later to replace Baths role as lead where Nina performs the the White Swan’s dance for her audition. Thomas is impressed with Nina’s audition of the White Swan, so he then asks her to perform the role of the Black Swan, however he doesn’t feel she fits the role of both White Swan and Black Swan. She portrays the innocence and fragility of the White swan however, lacking the freedom and sensuality of the Black Swan. 
One would say that there are many visual aspects utilised by Aronofsky, forming the  concept of the doppelganger into something significant for Nina. With encouragement and forcefulness of her ballet director Thomas, Nina attempts to tailor herself to adapt to the role of the Black Swan only to discover that Lily is naturally perfect for this role as she is the opposite of Nina; relaxed, edgy, and reckless where as Nina is not. So as a viewer, one can assume that Aronofsky intention for the audience is to realise that Lily is a one form of Nina’s doppelgänger. Although they visually differ and their personalities are opposing, Lily is exactly what Nina tries to become to perfect the role of the Black Swan. The change of lighting and attire in particular scenes show Nina’s personality develop into the role of the Black Swan that Thomas pressures her to become. Not only can you see the double of nina in lily, someone she strives to become, one may also notice that a double can be seen in Beth the former lead dancer that she has replaced. Showing the audience and herself what she will eventually become, ultimately one day being replaced with another.
The concept of “The Double” was also incorporated in The Shining, inspired by the work of Diane Arbus’ portrait “Identical Twins”, taken of two identical young twins as they stand side by side wearing matching garments. At first look one would assume the two girls are conjoined at the arm, however looking in further detail you can see thats the impression given to you as their dresses merge into one another. The facial expression on either twin is the only difference visually emerging to the audience, as the young girl on the right has a slight smile with interest seen in her eyes of what’s ahead of her as apposed to her sister on the left shows no sign of emotion or amusement in her facial expression. As the twins look through the lens, it could be interpreted by the audience as though they are peering through, spying into the viewers soul. Standing in front of a white wall, the position of the twins ensures their dark dressed figures are prominent, standing out as the solitary characters in the scene. 
Being a powerful inspiration towards STANLEY Kurbrick’s work, the unnerving photograph of Diane Arbus’ “Identical Twins” influenced the production and direction of “The Shining”, what is considered to be one of the frightening films of all time. One would get the impression from this image, by duplicating the twins appearance and their identical dresses, that there is nowhere to run from what one may see as a soulless gaze standing side by side staring through the camera. Using their innocence and purity may come across as an act to the viewer, a form of bait used to lure people into a mysterious unknown life, causing the unsettling feeling of potential harm to the viewer themselves from the girls. 
The theme of the ‘double’  has been explored as a concept frequently over hundreds of years; the most emblematic being in ‘The Uncanny’ by Sigmund Freud. Freud opens his essay by giving a definition of what “uncanny” is, that it “belongs to the realm of the frightening, of what evokes fear and dread”. The words ‘heimlich’ and ‘unheimlich’ are used within Freud’s essay, as he refers the two they integrate to create the meaning behind what the “uncanny” actually is. He explains the hindrance between one another as ‘unheimlich’ means something which is hidden or concealed, and ‘heimlich’ defines the familiar. This paradoxical barrier is what then merges them both to form the “uncanny”,  when something unfamiliar is integrated which is then perceived as something which is familiar.
The use of the ‘double’ or doppelgänger in film provides comprehension to the slight gateway between self and perception of the other. The “double” or doppelganger is a optical portrayal of the darker fractions of ones solitary psyche that we as humans refuse to be true so that they’re seen in a better light to other people instead to who they really are. Thus, within film the “double” or doppelganger is mostly conveyed as a ones fears pictured into a thing they’re scared they may come to be.
Something that an individual fears they will become is the representation of the “double” that is visualised in many films. Within Freud’s essay ‘The Uncanny’ he explains how one initially acknowledges the “double”, instigating the uncanny sensation of the doppelgänger to occur; “But, after having thus considered the manifest motivation of the figure of a “double,” we have to admit that none of it helps us to understand the extraordinarily strong feeling of something uncanny that pervades the conception; and our knowledge of pathological mental processes enables us to add that nothing in the content arrived at could account for that impulse towards self- protection which has caused the ego to project such a content outward as something foreign to itself”. Considering Freud’s translation and explanation behind unheimlich vs. heimlich, one has to initially be presented with something that is familiar, following to then incorporate the unfamiliar and you are imposed by the sensation of the uncanny. The self is familiar but when positioned in circumstances the self is seen in an unfamiliar aspect, only then can one’s true self have an urge to shelter the self. Its the notion that the individual could possibly become that evil entity. 

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