Heterotropics was an independent research and curatorial platform operating in Amsterdam from 2016 until 2018. The project investigated the immaterial and material remnants of colonial desire and exotic projection within cityscapes as well as museum collections, looking at and performing imagined geographies. Arising from the intimacy between the linguistic “trope” and the geographical “tropic,” Heterotropics is a fictitious concept relating language, space and the collective imagery.

As a long term project encompassing performance, research, spatial interventions and a web-platform, Heterotropics proposed a strechted curatorial temporality. Its different chapters appeared and disappeared as foreign bodies within the folds of museums, archives, and urban contexts, interrogating the colonial legacy of exhibiting and collecting, as well as the paradigms of accumulation and display pertaining to cultural institutions.

Addressing space as a semiotic field, the projects initiated in the framework of Heterotropics had a twisted site-specific vocation. If all the commissioned interventions responded to the specifities of different sites, they did so from a perspective that was simultaneously material and symbolic. Artists as well as theorists have been invited to develop projects that tackled the fiction of the real and the reality of fiction. In this sense Heterotropics attempted to challenge objectual and authentic notions of locality, researching the spatial affects of language and representation

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

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