Ship of Fools


July 2008


A multi-discipline art event, which was one of six projects based on one of Foucault's six principles of heterotopia. According to Foucault, heteratopias are 'actual existing utopias'. Whereas utopias are sites with no real space, Heteratopias are counter-sites that exist in real space. This was to be our focus for the year's programme of events.


"In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up..." so ends a summary* of Foucault's lecture of March 1967, in which 'the boat' was imagined as an heterotopia par excellence ... 'a floating piece of space, a place without a place, that exists by itself, that is closed in on itself and at the same time is given over to the infinity of the sea'.


(* This text, entitled "Des Espace Autres," and published by the French journal Architecture /Mouvement/ Continuité in October, 1984, was the basis of a lecture given by Michel Foucault in March 1967)


The 'Ship of Fools' is a popular metaphor often used to describe the human condition. Here, the notion that we are all foolish, self-centred beings bent on achieving our own interests at the cost of others, is one that has been embraced by writers, musicians, artists, filmmakers and composers.


The exhibition included London artists John Stark, Velika Janceva, and Andrew Walter, video artists Jon Fawcett, Nathalie Bikoro and Laura Smith, Andrew Dodds', sound work: "Adrift' (originally commissioned for the public art host-structure: Arcade) a performance by Brighton-based Eva Weaver and an installation by Margate-based Steve McPherson.


Sponsored by Christ Church University College


Limbo 2010