” [Artists] bring together things outside of normal classifications, and glean from these affinities a new kind of knowledge which opens our eyes to certain unperceived aspects of our world and to the unconscious of our vision”.
(Georges Didi-Huberman: from introduction to the exhibition ATLAS at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, 2010).
Foucault’s spatio-temporal concept has begun to provoke the imagination of artists in paintings, collages, photographs, films and installations. I have written a brief introduction to some of these artists’ work – art essay cont pdf.
Art linked to heterotopia can be found in some of Åsdam Knut’s work as a film-maker, installation artist, sculptor and photographer – see web-site. He has also written an essay on ‘Art, pornography and heterotopia’ – knut-asdam-article-pdf
Fiona Ackerman’s paintings explore the art studio as heterotopia and she has also written about her work’s relationship to Foucault and heterotopia – see bio and video
Many of Vincent J Stoker’s photographs re-interpret heterotopia – see Vincent’s web-site.
Lien Truong’s paintings include work that embraces heterotopias “as sites that mirror, distort, and invert other spaces” – see her web-site.
Karine Laval’s artistic practice encompasses photography, video and installation/projection and a recent body of her work explores gardens and heterotopia.
Another example is Mariele Neudecker’s installation Heterotopias and Other Domestic Landscapes, which created a ‘geophysical slice’of a recorded, yet fictionalized landscape through the air, earth and deep sea as visitors ascend and descend through the floors’ of the Regency Town House in Brighton, UK.
Much contemporary art work has also been interpreted through the lens of heterotopia. Daniel Defert, for example, refers to an installation by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, who produced an ‘experimental heterotopian environment’ involving twenty-four Manhattan billboards depicting photographs of a bed with imprints of two heads on a pillow, evoking a range of questions about the relationship between private and public responses to sexuality. I would also pick out a book compiled by Shezad Dawood which was published on the occasion of an exhibition: Black Sun: Alchemy, Diaspora and Heterotopia. Dawood integrates the concept here and there, particularly in relation to a film by Maya Deren: Meshes of the Afternoon (1943).
Dawood, S. (2013) Black sun: alchemy, diaspora and heterotopia, London: Ridinghouse.
Defert, D. (1997) ‘Foucault, Space, and the Architects’ in Politics/Poetics: Documenta X – The Book, Ostfildern-Ruit: Cantz Verlag, 274-283