Heterotopia and Art

Foucault's concept has proven to be  a source of inspiration for many artists. 

Here are a few examples of these works, however none of these are involved with the show we are organising they are just examples.

" Interspaces, illusory sites, ‘places beyond all places’ – Beyoğlu is a site of utopias realised. These, within this Istanbul quarter, form the ‘heterotopia,’ giving this work its title.

It is not based on creation of a concrete image of an actual geographic place. Instead, the work focuses on the fascination with Beyoğlu as a place which poses ever new questions, where dreams are born as quickly as they are shattered, a site of incomprehensibility, of permanent and collective limbo, of countless contradictions.

This disorder within an urban milieu, which in its fragmentariness creates a multitude of possible new alignments, has been designated as a ‘heterotopia’ in Michel Foucault’s work on spatial theory; I borrow this concept for my work.

In Beyoğlu, a space is created which makes its own as well as its inhabitants’ structure its internal ordering principle. Thus, not only this ‘dense’ urban space, in which minorities are caught up in both senses (absorbed and captured), but also – and especially – the transsexual physical body is transformed into a heterotopia. In this way, the transsexual body becomes – within a heterotopia – a place from which one cannot escape, a ‘pitiless topia’. "

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"I am looking at heterotopias right now. It is a concept in human geography elaborated by philosopher Michel Foucault to describe places and spaces that function in non-hegemonic conditions. These are spaces of otherness, which are neither here nor there, that are simultaneously physical and mental. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterotopia_(space)) I am using the term to describe an idyllic home – an escape – situated in a landscape that may or may not physically exist and is nostalgically remembered from past experience, a dream or a yearned for place seen in a lifestyle magazine.

I utilise town planning maps to represent order, restrictions and boundaries imposed on the natural topography and how these artificially created limits reflect on the economic value of the land and the type of people, housing and industry that can be found in these places. In contrast to the drawn planning lines, abstracted housing and landscapes represent people’s dreams, realities and aspirations that may exist in these physical or mental heterotopias."

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