9 December 2013
Karsten Kronos is another artist working with the notion of heterotopia. In series ‘Heterotopien’, the space of Beyoğlu, an area of Istanbul, is explored:
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’
(quotes form: Michel Foucault, Les Hétérotopies – le corps utopique, Éditions Lignes 2009).
Go to Karsten Kronos website