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Michel Foucault's concept of heterotopia and postcolonial artistic responses to museum spaces

Francis, Errol; (2019) Michel Foucault's concept of heterotopia and postcolonial artistic responses to museum spaces. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

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).

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Michel Foucault's concept of heterotopia and postcolonial artistic responses to museum spaces
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049632
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