Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Things that go Bump in the Night

Matt Lippiatt Ed Gein Psycho Amityville Things that go Bump in the Night was an exhibition curated by Dominic Mason at the Victorian Gothic, at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe. The exhibition ran from 15 Sept - 1 Dec 2007, and featured work by Nigel Grimmer, Marcelle Hanselaar, Pam Glew, Craig Fisher, Luci Gorell Barnes, Cat James, Suzanne Langston-Jones, Johnny White, and myself.

Here are images of the exhibition, including my scale models of the house from Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), the house from Rosenberg's The Amityville Horror (1979), the house of serial killer Ed Gein, and the White House.

Matt Lippiatt Psycho
By far the most popular topos of the nineteenth-century uncanny was the haunted house. A pervasive leitmotiv of literary fantasy and architectural revival alike, its depiction in fairy tales, horror stories, and Gothic novels gave rise to a unique genre of writing that, by the end of the century, stood for romanticism itself. The house provided an especially favored site for uncanny disturbances: its apparent domesticity, its residue of family history and nostalgia, its role as the last and most intimate shelter of private comfort sharpened by contrast the terror of invasion by alien spirits. Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" was paradigmatic: "With the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. ... The feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible."
Anthony Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny (1992)

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