DISQUIET: Art that Unsettles / Calls & Submissions

September 2, 2023

Organization Name: Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center

Organization Location: Cincinnati, OH

Type: Calls & Submissions

Fee: $40


The Cincinnati based non-profit arts organization and gallery, Manifest, invites visual artists and designers to submit original works about about the strange, the uncanny, the abject, the revolting, the unsettling, and the things that frighten us. Open to all traditional and non-traditional genre and media.

What are the signs that something is wrong?
There is a moment before we react to danger where we register, subconsciously, that something is off. That we have reason to be afraid. The source of our disquiet can be obvious, symbols we can name as horrific: teeth, viscera, a body open in unnatural ways.
When the image lacks obvious violence, but instead depicts something familiar made unfamiliar/untrustworthy, or vice versa, our horror simmers before exploding because the fear is harder to name—a room where the edges don’t come together correctly, a face held in an expression incongruous to the moment, a chemical sheen glistening on the surface of a comforting meal.
When we are unsettled by what we see, our sense of being “okay”, the certitude of continued cleanliness or wholeness is challenged, and we experience the frission, the thrill, the arousal, the fascination of being under threat. We are primed for a reaction in this moment, to run, to fight, to be sick and push something away, or else to succumb and be changed.
What do we see at the border between life as we know it, and the unknown?

ANNUAL CASH AWARD: The annual Manifest Grand Jury Prize will result in the awarding of one significant cash prize ($5000) to a single work selected as the ‘best of the entire season’.


Opportunity Website

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