Barry Falk

Das Unheimliche – The Alienated Familiar

‘I photograph Incidental Urban Spaces: places tucked away and neglected; the overlooked details of a city. My work seeks to capture an aspect of the urban environment, both interior and exterior, which is either not willingly acknowledged (the pissed in corners) or generally not paid attention to (a hospital stairwell). Images are drawn from diverse yet similar locations, including the ubiquitous concrete car parks, lower recesses of new building developments, mid-construction houses and industrial estates. There is something both futuristic and ancient about these cavernous spaces. As habitats they are cruelly forbidding, lithic and angular; as constructed architectural spaces they are all the more fascinating because they are not, generally, conceived of as ‘high design’ architecture. The structures are functional yet throwaway.

‘My photographs do not aim to describe nor explain the spaces captured but to suggest certain psychological states of mind. They can be read as metaphors for loss and as such are suffused with a disturbed sense of self, what Freud referred to as the unheimliche: the familiar which has become alienated through the process of repression. But they are also related to the ‘Evocative Object World’, a title taken from Christopher Bollas’s book, which refers both to Freud’s theory of how dreams are constructed and to the rich object world that surrounds us. I  seek to turn the mundane into the intriguing and the quotidian into images of high psychic value.’

Copyright © 2013 Barry Falk