3 June 2013
Of the myriad of applications of heterotopia, there has been minor take up by artists. Literary, cultural and media studies are awash with papers that explore the notion of these ‘other spaces’, and architectural heterotopia is well established, but as yet visual, environmental and performing art has remained marginal in this enterprise.
Birringer’s article on Makrolab (1998) is the exception here, but interestingly, Defert (1997), Foucault’s long-term partner, ends his essay on heterotopia by evoking the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, who had recently produced an ‘experimental heterotopian environment’ in Manhattan. Genocchio , in an essay that explores the complexity of interpreting the notion of heterotopia, also ends his reflection by reference to an art work: an environmental installation by Australian artist Denis del Favero.
I was really excited therefore to recently discover the current critically appraised work by Vincent J Stoker, a French photographer who gives the name ‘heterotopia’ to all his work. I hope to bring to you more of his art and reflect on it further, but what is refreshing is that he brings a new perspective on these elusive spaces. A series of photographs encapsulate what I have called in an essay ‘utopian debris’ or fragments of utopia.
For more see:
Birringer, J. (1998) ‘Makrolab: A Heterotopia’ Journal of Performance and Art 20 (3) 66-75.
Defert, D. (1997) ‘Foucault, Space, and the Architects’ in Politics/Poetics: Documenta X – The Book, Ostfildern-Ruit: Cantz Verlag, 274-283.
Genocchio, B. (1995) ‘Discourse, Discontinuity, Difference: the Question of Other Spaces’ in S. Watson and K. Gibson (eds.), Postmodern Cities and Spaces, Oxford: Blackwell 35-46.