NEWS: Heterotopia @ Saabat Gallery, Middlesbrough | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Ausama’s Tortured Foot by Ausama al Khalil

Philosopher Michel Foucault devised the concept of a heterotopia to describe certain spaces that were somehow also an ‘other’. It could be a disturbing or intense area, or one that contradicted the rest of the landscape it sat within. It’s this idea that is used as a springboard for the latest exhibition at Saabat Gallery, Middlesbrough, which runs between Saturday 1st-Saturday 29th September, as Foucault’s ideas are used as a way of exploring identity.

Heterotopia uses works from a variety of artists, placing together the intricate ink works of Saud Baloch – inspired by the ‘disappeared’ in Balochistan, Pakistan – with Ray Husband’s vibrant imagery that delves into a less colourful topic: the effects of austerity politics. Yet Heterotopia will also be exploring the role of friendship between artists, and takes the tie between Iraqi artists Ausama al Khalil and Azad Mohammed as another foundation stone. Their works also share a similar conceptual bond: Khalil’s works are at once memories of a homeland and an examination of the therapeutic nature of art, while Mohammed’s sculpture takes a look at displacement. Building on its philosophical roots and pulling Foucault’s ideas into the contemporary age, Heterotopia is set to raise questions surrounding modern human rights.


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