This is the first of a cycle of exhibitions during the extensions to the museum (November 2011 – Autumn 2013) and drawing on its various collections. This fresh approach to the museum's holdings will also include invitations to outside curators: directors of collections, artists and art historians.
As Freud put it in 1919, "The uncanny is that species of the frightening that goes back to what was once well known and had long been familiar."
While moving chronologically through the collection as a whole from the 17th to the 21st century, the exhibition adopts an innovative stance. Chosen by director/curator Blandine Chavanne in collaboration with the heads of the individual collections, the works centre on the singular, the unexpected, the murky, the elusive – the unbearable, even. Freud's concept is used more as a methodological tool than a central idea, homing in on the paradoxicality, the contradictoriness, the tension and the ambivalence of the exhibits; in a multi-thematic context it triggers thinking about the power of the imaginary and the visionary, sometimes via recourse to surprising associations.