Thursday, 30 October 2014


Heterotopia means "no-where" - a phrase coined by the philosopher Michel Foucault to describe a place different from normality. Some consider Heterotopia to be an imaginary place, part way between a utopia and a dystopia. 

We all have our own Heterotopias.  It may be as simple as the space created when you look at the reflection of your face in a mirror. For a moment, the real space around you and the imaginary space of the reflection, appear to become a single contiguous space. 

I do not subscribe to Foucault's postmodernism. I am a fan of Scandinavian Realism - rooted in skepticism, empirical study and deontological constructs. However, I delight in the gentle heresy of some of Foucault's concepts, while I noting the critical flaws that beset the rest of his work.

The closing sequence to the old New Zealand film "Quiet Earth" captured me the first time I saw it and I have never really escaped.  This is my Heterotopia.  I spend a lot of time here - when I close my eyes and sigh, this is where I am.  I have always wanted to try to capture this feeling - this is my latest effort. 

I should thank +Ann Pollak  for challenging me to tread down this path (and naming this place in an earlier post). 

An earlier attempt is here.

Peter Quinton
October 2014

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