Intrusions: Looking After Aikman, Artists and the Uncanny

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition


“There’s something wrong… There’s something wrong with almost everything.” Hand in Glove, Intrusions, p .17 (Victor Gollancz, 1980) Robert Aickman (1914 - 1981) wrote some of the strangest and most evocative of English ghost stories. His centenary is on the 27th June. Aickman was an eccentric yet a reluctant man of the world. Educated at Highgate School, he trained but never practiced as an architect. He was a prolific writer and editor, and advocate of theatre, dance, and opera, but was best known for much of his life as the founder of the Inland Waterways Association. Now he is widely regarded as a master of the uncanny tale. In Aickman’s forty eight ‘Strange Stories’ nothing is as it seems. They are characterised by a wanton sense of ambiguity and a frequent refusal to provide the reader with any kind of closure or resolution. Past intrudes onto present, inner on outer, time onto space: this is Aickman’s world, an intuitive map of the psyche. The exhibition ‘Intrusions: Looking after Aickman’ explores the world as a mysterious, sometimes disturbing place. Some of the artists echo Aickman’s themes, some are informed by him, and some (in best Aickman manner) know nothing of him. As artists they explore, memory and myth, the everyday and the epic, and things that intrude.Working in print and photography and largely in monochrome their work echoes both materially and in mood and resonance Aickman’s themes. They hold in common the consistent exploration of the psychologically charged drama and the narrative of the dark underbelly of life. Long admired in select circles, Aickman’s writing is poised for critical reassessment through new editions of his written work, a documentary film on his life, and various other commemorative projects. The exhibition was accompanied by a series of talks, readings, performances and events, and a book area where the new editions of Aickman’s work can be viewed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2014
Eventexhibition - Printroom, 98 Highgate Hill London N6 5HE, 10 - 15 July 2014
Duration: 10 Jul 2014 → …


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