About Heterotropics

Heterotropics is an independent research and curatorial platform operating in Amsterdam since 2016. Unfolding through different chapters and collaborations, it looks at the immaterial and material remnants of colonial desire and exotic projection in the cityscape of Amsterdam and beyond. Arising from the linguistic intimacy between “trope” and “tropic,” Heterotropics is a fictitious concept relating language, space and collective imagery.

We facilitate and commissions artistic and theoretical interventions in different urban locations considered both as historical and imagined geographical constructs. Such interventions look at the traces of imperial formations in contemporay cities and question what projections and narratives they trigger in the present. In this sense the project does not approach the local landscape akin to an ethnographer but rather through figurative and symbolic dimensions of meaning. The participating artists and theorists are invited to develop or present projects that assume an oblique angle on the fiction of the real and the reality of fiction; researching the artifices of language and representation.

Heterotropics' different chapters form an expanded performative exhibition, which attempts to disrupt the colonial apparatus of exhibition making, as well as to unsettle the taxonomy of museums and archives.

The launch event of Heterotropics (24 September 2016) explored the voyeurism triggered by the street names of de Indische Buurt (the 'Indies' Neighboorhood) in Amsterdam East through a multifold program across public and private spaces of the area with artists Alex 2000 (NL) & Pauline Curnier Jardin (FR/NL), David Bernstein (US/BE) & Jokūbas Čižikas (LT/NL), and Jacopo Miliani (IT). For Heterotropics #2 (1 May - 6 June 2017) we have instead joined forces with the Research Center for Material Culture and invited the research collective KUNCI Cultural Studies Center (Yogyakarta, Indonesia) to engage in a research residency at the Tropenmuseum, the former colonial museum of Amsterdam.The latest project to date is Pavilion, a lecture performance by Milena Bonilla and Luisa Ungar at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (13 October 2017).

For more information on the single chapters, please click on the CHAPTERS page on the menu above.

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