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Title: Michel Foucault's concept of heterotopia and postcolonial artistic responses to museum spaces
Author: Francis, Errol
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 8589
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis is concerned with cultural articulations of space, from the point of view of philosophy and from the perspective of artists responding to museums as key sites of cultural heritage. My central research question is how the concept of heterotopia can be useful in exploring postcolonial artistic responses to museum spaces that tackle questions of personal and cultural identity, arising from key aspects of my own artistic and curatorial practice. My methodology takes the heterotopia concept as proposed by Michel Foucault in his (1967) Des Espace Autres, as its point of departure and I subject it to a critical analysis. I progress through conceptualisations relating to architectural space and end with delineations of postcolonial cultural domains that are both real and imaginary and relational between one space and another, an understanding of space that is rooted in oppositions that are both geographical and cultural. The heterotopia concept is used to elucidate these themes through artistic responses to museum spaces and with pictorial representations that are both real and imagined. A number of museums have been chosen as sites for analysis, from the Foundling and Sir John Soane's Museums in London to the Walters Art Museum, George Peabody Library and National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, in the USA. I engage with the works of old master artists Fra Carnavale, El Greco, William Hogarth, J A D Ingres, the Regency architect Sir John Soane and with works of contemporary artists Mat Collishaw and Isaac Julien to tackle questions about the relationship between the postcolonial subject, heritage spaces and cultural identity. To elucidate these questions of the real and imagined articulation of space the thesis contains a detailed analysis of two of Julien's works that deal with museums: Vagabondia (2000) and Baltimore (2002).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available