The Other Space

There are also, probably in every culture, in every civilization, real places—places that do exist and that are formed in the very founding of society— which are something like counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted. Places of this kind are outside of all places, even though it may be possible to indicate their location in reality.

- Michel Foucault, The Order of Things

The Other Space is a two-channeled video installation which displays a series of seemingly absurd actions, games. With that it makes contrast between two different usages of the same space: former working space and a present space for play and leisure. The location which is used for this work is a former sugar factory built at the end of 19th century as a first building of this type in Belgrade. The factory was a center for workers’ gatherings, a space which was damaged during both World Wars and, at the end, a space which was abandoned in 1983 when the factory stopped with its production. Playfulness as the main element of this work has a meaning that is closely connected with the sugar itself, because the production of sugar is, at the same time, the production of happiness which is clearly manifested through childrens’ games. Not only is this playfulness associated with childrens’ play, but also with “political play” related to the factory issue the government has been playing with since the great strike in 1907.
 Even though this space had a clear function for years, now, because of abandonment, decaying and oblivion, it is a heterotopia (Foucault). It is the other space which allows individuals whose behavior deviates from the usual average or prescribed norm to inhabit it. In this case, that is a space which gives security and freedom for people to play and act like children which is considered abusive and extremely “abnormal” for adults in a day-to-day world guided by rules and regulations.
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