Other Spaces is an international collaborative project featuring the work of eight artists. Connected by their involvement in two artist-led groups, Tin Roof in Dundee and See You on Sunday in Trinidad and Tobago. Each artist has responded individually to an invitation to explore the concept of ‘Hetrotopia’ as described by Michel Foucault. Having spent three months on a residency in Trinidad Joanna Helfer was struck by the underlying tensions and connections existing between Scotland and the Caribbean and wanted an opportunity to explore this further.
Joanna says, “I was reading Foucault and came across his concept of Hetrotopia: ‘the heterotopia is capable of juxtaposing in a single real place several spaces, several sites that are in themselves incomplete’. Foucault references gardens as being an example of Hetrotopias as they try to condense multiple real spaces into one idea of space. As the exhibition is situated at the Slessor gardens in Dundee – a highly charged public space far from the pseudo-neutral gallery space – I felt it would be interesting to explore this directly in the work. I proposed to the artists that we each submit a photograph of ourselves engaging in a space within our own context which relates to the idea of Hetreotopia. I also thought this could be an interesting way to present the complexity which relates to the idea of Heterotopia. I also thought this could be an interesting way to present the complexity of attempting to communicate across our very different spaces. By sitting still and simply observing the space we acknowledge the challenge of walking in and trying to know each other’s spaces. There’s something powerful about inertia, and being still. Also, I like the idea of reversing the gaze. Here the public viewing the work are the subject of the artist’s gaze – there is an attempt at a discussion of power; what does it mean to be seen in a space you cannot see? In addition, I asked each artist to create a map of the space they are occupying, to be displayed alongside the photograph.”
The participant artists are:
From SYoS: Alex Kelly, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago / Luis Vasquez La Roche, Krefeld, Germany / Nikolai Noel, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago / Wasia Ward, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
From Tin Roof: Charlotte Lodge, North Aberdeenshire, Scotland / Joanna Helfer, Dundee, Scotland / Kirsty Dalton, Dalat Pongour, Vietnam / Lucie Rachel, Los Angeles, USA