Of Haunted Spaces: Cinema, Heterotopias, and China’s Hyperurbanization

$28.00 SGD

Ella Raidel
With contributions by Itty Abraham, Ute Meta Bauer, Marlene Rutzendorfer, and Weiying Yu

As amalgams of the different spatial logics of other places, reassembled by globalization and the fantasies of real estate development, cities today are becoming what Michel Foucault has termed heterotopias. Assemblies of ruins, theme parks, entirely copied towns, simulacra, business districts on a globalized template, reconstructed historic districts, settlements, and ghost towns are finding a new expression in the contemporary world. Nowhere is this more visible recently than in China, and in areas coming under China’s developmental influence. Copied cities, ghost cities and large scale Chinese investments in Africa are heterotopias because they contain the idea of accumulating different times, cultures, and countries within one place, just as a theme park contains all these different place experiences in a bounded zone outside of its own time and culture.

Ella Raidel has explored these phenomena through film and cinematic virtual reality, and this artist’s book reviews and reflects on the last two decades of her award-winning work. In Ella Raidel’s films urbanism and architecture, theory, politics, social change and image production are intertextually presented, and open a discursive space for investigation and commentary. This book will be interesting for art and film practitioners, and students of architecture, film, urbanization, and infrastructure, especially those who see cinema as a way of exploring these subjects.

Ella Raidel is a filmmaker and visual artist. She is Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Publication Year: 2023
128 pp, 190mm x 250mm 
80 colour illustrations
ISBN: 978-981-18-5893-2

Distributed for the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art