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The Curse of the Uncanny Eye : The Cornea Screen
Starring Barbara Creed as the Monstrous Other
20th July 2007 John Curtin Gallery , Western Australia .

The Curse of the Uncanny Eye is Bio-Kino’s first public presentation of The Living Screen project.

In The Curse of the Uncanny Eye, a disembodied eye [that of Barbara Creed’s] is projected onto a cornea [of a mouse]. The viewer is confronted with their act of spectatorship, the cornea and Barbara Creed’s eye highlighting The Living Screen’s central investigation of the gaze and Bio-Art as Other.

“I Spy With Creed’s Uncanny Eye”
Barbara Creed’s work investigates the gaze, challenging theories of film spectatorship through the analysis of Horror movies. Creed identifies the Uncanny Gaze as being central to the genre. “The uncanny warns that the subject’s sense of wholeness is illusionary…” Creed’s ‘uncanny staring eye…’ warns the viewer that their sense of wholeness is illusionary. She does so by starring in the Nano-Movie as the Monstrous-Other.

Kristevas term abjection, which respects no borders and ‘disturbs identity, system and order’ is central to Creed’s construction of the Monstrous in horror cinema. On show as the Monstrous-Other, without a face, without a body, without a brain, Creed’s ‘uncanny staring eye…’ looks out from the coffin-like magic box of the Bio-Projector disturbing ‘identity, system and order’.

Noel Carroll, in The Philosophy of Horror, explains that the monster is threatening because it is ‘categorically interstitial’, ‘categorically contradictory’ or either ‘incomplete’. In The Curse of the Uncanny Eye, the mutation that takes place between the Nano-Movie of Barbara Creed’s eye and the Cornea Screen fall into all three concepts of Monster. The mutation is categorically interstitial because it is part movie, part screen, and yet they both form the eye. The mutation is categorically contradictory, as it is both seeing and not seeing, both alive and dead. It is incomplete and therefore a monster, as both the Nano-Movie of the eye, and the Cornea Screen, have been disembodied from the rest of its physical form, and yet they still act on their own accord. Creed states that the Uncanny gaze “is constructed at the point in which the familiar becomes unfamiliar.” The mutation that takes place between the projected eye and the cornea screen situates it as a monster in all three of Carroll’s categories. Each of these categories locates a transgression where the familiar has become unfamiliar.

We are attracted to the Uncanny Gaze, its transgression both ‘repels and lures’. In The Curse of the Uncanny Eye, the spectator will be both repelled and lured due to the fact that a disembodied eye is reanimated through its living screen. Our curiosity will be lured by its lack of wholeness, only to then be repelled by the Monstrous as looks back, reminding us that our sense of wholeness is an illusion.

Creeds uncanny staring eye warns, “whosever runs with monsters, beware lest he becomes one; for when you peer into the abyss, the abyss peers into you.”