Kursaal as Heterotopic Space – Full details for 20th June CCT event

Kursaal as Heterotopic Space

Club Critical Theory

20th June 2014

8.30pm for a 9pm start

Upstairs at the Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea, http://www.railwayhotelsos.co.uk

FREE ENTRY

 

“In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface; I am over there, there where I am not, a sort of shadow that gives my own visibility to myself, that enables me to see myself there where I am absent: such is the utopia of the mirror. But it is also a heterotopia in so far as the mirror does exist in reality, where it exerts a sort of counteraction on the position that I occupy. From the standpoint of the mirror I discover my absence from the place where I am since I see myself over there.” (Michel Foucault, 1967)

 

The Kursaal was one of the world’s first amusement parks and the bank holiday destination for working Londoners between 1920s-1960s. During the 1970s it became a decaying music venue playing host to major rock acts. All that remains today is the Grade 2 listed main building with a distinctive stained glass dome.

 

In this CCT event we approach the Kursaal as a ‘heterotopic’ space (Foucault, 1967) which holds up a mirror up to life in Southend; past and the present.

 

Angie Voela: Academic (UEL)

 

On the other side of the mirror: heterotopia in Foucault and contemporary culture

 

Even the most dedicated Foucauldian would have to admit that his notion of heterotopia is at best schematic, unfinished and elliptical. Yet few ideas have captured the imagination of artists, activists, writers and scholars more than this one. What is it that makes heterotopia such a powerful notion? Why does it endure and what does it promise? I attempt to formulate a response to these questions by discussing instances of heterotopia in various fields of creative work and academic research, also discussing the limitations of existing critiques and, in many cases, their profound lack of engagement with Foucault’s larger ethic-aesthetic project.

 

Jane Millar: Artist and Curator

 

Kursaal: dream of the other 

This talk will engage with various critical theories, including Foucault’s heterotopia, to consider the fairground as a space of otherness, with more layers of meaning or relationships to other places than immediately meet the eye; as part of human geography. It will then introduce a project which aims to commission contemporary artists/makers to respond to the history and presence of the Kursaal. The talk will explore the site of the Kursaal and show the work of the artists involved in the show.

 

The discussion will be chaired by Tony D Sampson (UEL)

 

Guest DJ: “Twig the Wonder Kid” (11 till 1am)

 

Speakers

 

Angie Voela is a senior lecturer in Psychosocial Studies, University of East London. She has published extensively on identity and gender in literature, film and theatre. She often draws on psychoanalysis, Foucault and French philosophy, and has a keen interest in space, theories of space and the spatial dimension of identity.

 

Jane Millar is an artist, a lecturer in fine art and a curator. She studied painting at Canterbury College of Art, and completed an MA in Painting (Tapestry) at the Royal College of Art, in 1989. In 2012 she completed an MA in Education in Museums and galleries at the Institute of Education, London. Her interest and recent projects in curation are concerned with site specificity, place and audience development; where artists-as-researchers engage with/reveal both tangible and intangible content. Jane’s current role, as an associate research curator for A Fine Line, is to develop an exhibition of contemporary artists/makers to interpret the history and presence of The Kursaal Amusement Park, in Southend-On-Sea.

 

clubcriticaltheory.wordpress.com/

twitter.com/CCT_onSea

 

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Kursaal as Heterotopic Space – taster

As a taster for our next event on 20th June here is a beautiful quote from Michel Foucault on the difference between spaces of utopia and heterotopia.

“In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface; I am over there, there where I am not, a sort of shadow that gives my own visibility to myself, that enables me to see myself there where I am absent: such is the utopia of the mirror. But it is also a heterotopia in so far as the mirror does exist in reality, where it exerts a sort of counteraction on the position that I occupy. From the standpoint of the mirror I discover my absence from the place where I am since I see myself over there.” (Michel Foucault, 1967)

How might this notion of two kinds of mirror help us to theorize the Kursaal? How, for example, might it help us to consider the production of spaces that are now seemingly in the past and the present? How can theorists and artists alike respond to the virtual/real presence of this iconic Southend landmark?

Read on… http://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/foucault1.pdf

Kursaal as Heterotopic Space

Jane Millar: Artist and Curator

Angie Voela: Academic (UEL)

Tony D Sampson: Chair (UEL)

Guest DJ: “Twig the Wonder Kid” (11 till 1am)

20th June 20148.30pm for a 9pm start

Upstairs at the Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea, http://www.railwayhotelsos.co.uk

FREE ENTRY

Links to text versions of the Making Sense of Place talks from CCT April 17th 2014

For those who attended our inaugural Club Critical Theory night on 17 April,  thanks again for making it such an engaging experience. Below are links to the text-based versions of both talks, on Deleuze and Bourdieu. We’re looking forward to seeing you again at our next event on the Kursaal as a Heterotopic Space on Friday, 20 June; all welcome.

Making Sense of Place: Creating a Critical Space for Southend

Talks in text format

Tony D Sampson‘s talk on Deleuze in Southend

Andrew Branch‘s talk on Habit, Space and Value: Utilizing Bourdieusian theory

 

The next CLUB CRITICAL THEORY event, Fri 20th June

The next CLUB CRITICAL THEORY event

Kursaal as Heterotopic Space

20th June 2014, 8.30pm-1am

Upstairs at the Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea, http://www.railwayhotelsos.co.uk

FREE ENTRY

Kursaal

The Kursaal was one of the world’s first amusement parks and the bank holiday destination for working Londoners between 1920s-1960s. During the 1970s it became a decaying music venue playing host to major rock acts. All that remains today is the Grade 2 listed main building with a distinctive stained glass dome.

In this CCT event we approach the Kursaal as a ‘heterotopic’ space (Foucault, 1967) which holds up a mirror up to life in Southend; past and the present.

Discussion and talks (8.30-11pm)

Jane Millar: Artist and Curator

Angie Voela: Academic (UEL)

Tony D Sampson: Chair (UEL)

Guest DJ: “Twig the Wonder Kid” (11 till 1am)

 

CLUB CRITICAL THEORY

Founders: giles tofield, andrew branch, tony d. sampson

clubcriticaltheory.wordpress.com/

twitter.com/CCT_onSea

 

Extended text version of Deleuze in Southend talk at CCT event and next event

There’s an extended text version of the Deleuze in Southend talk at the first CCT event on 17th April.

It’s published on the Virality blog – http://viralcontagion.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/deleuze-in-southend-on-sea/

There will be a full summary of both talks on this blog soon.

We have also confirmed the next event for the 20th June.

Kursaal as Heterotopia

Date: 20th June upstairs at the Railway Hotel

Time: 8.30 – to start discussion at 9pm

Guests

Jane Millar (Artist and Curator)
Angie Voela (Academic)
Tony D Sampson (Chair)

Guest DJ:  “Twig the Wonder Kid” (11-1am)

Again, more to follow…