Magical Surfaces at Parasol Unit


Magical Surfaces:
The Uncanny in Contemporary Photography
Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art
On until 19th June 2016 

Just a quick heads up that the exhibition Magical Surfaces: The Uncanny in Contemporary Photography, at the always-interesting Parasol unit gallery in Islington N1, is closing soon. There is only a week left to catch this excellent photography exhibition which takes work from seven contemporary artists – Sonja Braas, David Claerbout, Elger Esser, Julie Monaco, Jörg Sasse, Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfeld – and explores the concept of the uncanny in photography.

The uncanny is a difficult sensation to pin down but you know it when you feel it. Many of the images in the Magical Surfaces show do a good job of summoning that elusive sense of discomfort and unease. Among the best is 2729 (2012) from Jörg Sasse, an eerie landscape that treads a line between what is real and what is imaginary.


But the standout piece of the show for me is a fantastic film from David Claerbout which digitally reconstructs a 1950s black and white photograph of a pre-stardom Elvis Presley. The film, KING (after Alfred Wertheimer’s 1956 picture of a young man named Elvis Presley) 2015-16, seems to bring Presley back to life in 3 dimensions and takes us on an intimate close-up tour around the photograph. Brilliant and utterly mesmerising.

Catch Magical Surfaces before it closes.

All photographs ©The London Art File

Magical Surfaces: The Uncanny in Contemporary Photography
Closes 19 June 2016 

Admission: FREE

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday: 12 – 5 pm

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art
14 Wharf Road / London / N1 7RW
020 7490 7373 /


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