Monday, 27 August 2007
SOME WHOREHOUSES IN KERAMEIKOS, THE NEIGHBOURHOOD IN ATHENS WHERE BLOW DE LA BARRA WILL OPEN A TEMPORARY GALLERY IN SEPTEMBER
photos by Pablo Leon de la Barra
As artists we are the jokers in the game. Invited to convey a personal experience from this unique place, by living here for one month, we have the ability to both salvage its history, and contribute to its disappearance.
Aleksandra Mir, Organized Movement, Mexico City Centre, 2004
Their (Artists) role as urban pioneers is both romanticised because of their willingness to live in run-down areas with old factories and warehouses or to break racial and ethnic barriers, and politicised because they displace low-income groups and initiate gentrification that benefits lands speculators, developers, realtors and ultimately the upper middle class.
Cole, B. David (1987). Artists and Urban Redevelopment, The Geographical Review, Vol 77, Num 4, October 1987
"Gentrification" derives from "gentry", meaning the people of gentle birth, good breeding, or high social position, as in the landed-gentry. Sociologist Ruth Glass coined the term in 1964 to mean the influx of wealthier individuals into cities or neighborhoods who replace working or lower-classes already living there.
Glass, R. (1964). London: aspects of change. London: Macgibbon & Kee.
Gentrification, the conversion of socially marginal and working-class areas of the central city to middle-class residential use, reflects a movement, that began in the 1960s, of private market investment capital into downtown districts of major urban centers. Related to a shift in corporate investments and a corresponding expansion of the urban service economy, gentrification was seen more immediately in archtiectural restoration of deteriorating housing and the clusering of new cultural amenities in the urban core.
Zukin, Sharon (1987), Gentrification: Culture and Capital in the Urban Core, Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 13, 1987, pp. 129-147