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Species of Heterotopia: From Ellis Island to Leros Island by Nitouche Anthoussi

Species of Heterotopia: From Ellis Island to Leros Island 


Nitouche Anthoussi

June 1st, 2024


The Opening Gallery

42 Walker Street, New York


The Opening Gallery is pleased to announce Species of Heterotopia: From Ellis Island to Leros Island, a research-based exhibition of works by Nitouche Anthoussi curated by Sozita Goudouna, PhD. Installed across the first floor of 42 Walker St, the exhibition attempts to challenge our perceptions of the relationship between alterity, immigration, politics, and mental illness with an arrangement of interview and archive-based art pieces, connecting with the Opening Gallery’s focus on notions of the “Other” and alterity in contemporary art, as well as on its mission to promote European and US exchanges.

The artist investigates the notion of “Utopia,” and its historical and philosophical references, with her core focus being on socially surveilled realms such as Ellis and Leros islands. By focusing on Michel Foucault’s «heterotopia» and Marc Augé’s «non-places», Anthoussi explores the nuances of the term “Utopia,” as it is experienced by individuals who have lived a life of confinement. The artist formulates a conceptual leap that allows her to consider that the examined incarcerated individuals create their own personal realized utopia, even if this lasts for a small period of time. By comparing “carcerality” and imposed social or political confinement between the two faraway islands – that are separated by the Mediterranean and the Atlantic – the project includes interviews, archival material, photographs, and 3D scanning of the premises and of the buildings that are inaccessible to the public.

Species of Heterotopia attempts to give visibility to marginal lives of the past that encapsulate alterity and that have been left in the margins of society. These diverse kinds of detention and portraits of “otherhood” are still invisible today despite the groundbreaking contribution of theorists like Foucault. The research project was instigated at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris and marks the partnership between Opening Gallery and Sorbonne Art Gallery and is an ongoing research project that is currently being developed at Columbia University, NY, Department of Psychology as a residency in the Justice in Education Initiative within the context of the Columbia Alliance Doctoral Mobility Program. The exhibition takes place in the context of Greece in USA under the Auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture. 

About The Opening:

The Opening Gallery, at 42 Walker in Tribeca, New York, is a nonprofit cultural venue and initiative established in 2022, showcasing global and local artists, practice-based research, as well as performance, live events, and educational programs. Exhibited artists belong to US and International museum permanent collections.

Exhibitions include visual and performing arts and music events, with monthly public programs spanning a wide range of topics.  The Opening Gallery has presented international and US based artists including Andres Serrano, Sagarika Sundaram, Michele Zalopany, Kenneth Goldsmith, John Zorn, The Shoplifter, Luciano Chessa, Daniel Firman, Hans Weigand, Raúl Cordero, Jessica Mitrani, United Nations artist-observer Yann Toma, Warren Neidich, Coleman Collins, Constance DeJong, Charles Gaines, Jimmie Durham, Leslie Hewitt, Jimmy Raskin, Agnieszka Kurant, Olu Oguibe, Martha Rosler, Allen Ruppersberg, Chrysanne Stathacos, Leah Singer, Ronan Day-Lewis, Orit Ben Shitrit, and Bill Hayward. In spring 2024 the gallery program will present a selection of Watermill Center former artists-in-residence including Eileen O’ Kane Kornreich, Christopher Knowles with Sylvia Netzer, D. Graham Burnett and “The Order of the Third Bird,” and Brian Block.

The Gallery has hosted the New York Arab Festival and events organized by MoMA curators and collaborates with Sorbonne Art Gallery in Paris. The nonprofit cultural venue and initiative supports an heteroclite art ecosystem that attempts to go beyond prevalent gallery models in Tribeca. Proceeds support neurodiversity, charitable causes, and the non-profit Luv Michael, which is committed to enriching the lives of autistic adults.

The Opening was founded by Sozita Goudouna, PhD and in 2023 partnered with the London-based publisher Eris to present exhibitions related to publications by Kenneth Goldsmith, Andres Serrano, ORLAN, Lucas Samaras, and Maurice Saatchi among other acclaimed contributors and artists. Our publishing art program has hosted readings of Edward Said’s poems by Simon Critchley, Stathis Gourgouris, and Udi Aloni, as well as readings of Gabriele Tinti by Vincent Piazza.

©2024 Greece in USA. All Rights Reserved