Uncanny Valley: Portraits of the Almost-Human

February 26 – May 8, 2016

The more realistic an image is, the more viewers tend to identify with it—up to a certain point. Lifelike sculptures often have a peculiar, unsettling quality to them, occupying a space known as the “uncanny valley.” But what happens when photographers treat these figures like they would human subjects?

Including eleven works by twentieth and twenty-first century photographers, Uncanny Valley aims to capture the stark and strangely intimate world of human-facsimiles. From the coy disaffection of fashion mannequins, to the spectacle of religious shrines, to the likeness of Lady Liberty herself, the care with which these figures were photographed gives life to the not-quite-living.

 

Image: Jerome Liebling. American, 1924–2011. Mannequin, Minnesota from Photographs, 1963 negative, 1976 print. Gelatin silver print. Purchased.