First Collaboration: Research

As mentioned in my previous blog post, my first collaboration project is going to be based on the topic of heterotopias. Heterotopias are the opposite of utopias in which heterotopias actually exist as physical places (Johnson 2018). This concept was introduced and defined by Michel Foucault in 1967.

According to Foucault, heterotopias can be divided into two categories: a heterotopia of crisis and a heterotopia of deviation (Foucault 1967).

Crisis heterotopias are places for individuals who live in a state of crisis including young people and the elderly. Some of these crisis heterotopias are beginning to disappear from our society but there are a couple that still exist such as boarding schools and the military service (Stace 2017).

Heterotopias of deviation are places – such as prisons, hospitals, rest homes etc. – for those whose behaviour differs from what is known to be normal.

Other examples of heterotopias include gardens, museums, libraries, theatres, ships and festivals.

These concepts that were introduced by Foucault, have been a common topic which has been explored by many artists through their work. French photographer, Vincent J Stoker, explores the topic of heterotopias and follows the main principles outlined by Foucault. Examples of his work can be seen below.

Karine Laval is another photographer who has created pieces of work relating to the idea of heterotopias. As well as Vincent J Stoker, Laval’s work is also inspired by the work of Foucault. She explores the concept of space throughout her work which not only focuses on physical space but also mental or imaginary space (Laval 2016).


Foucault, M. (1967) Of Other Spaces, Heterotopias [online]. Available from [16th Oct 2018]

Johnson, P. (2018) What’s it About? [online]. Available from [15th Oct 2018]

Laval, K. (2016) Heterotopia [online]. Available from [18th Oct 2018]

Stace, L. (2017) What is a Heterotopia? [online]. Available from [15th Oct 2018]




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