Artist as strategist

The artist as strategist

Topography in visual creation
at the beginning of the 21st century

Using groups generally defined as "art neighbourhoods" or "artists' neighbourhoods", the research examines the causes and consequences of these groupings for artistic creation. This question is usually approached through the modifications that these art gatherings generate for their neighbourhood (gentrification, population changes, tourist attraction, control by the official power of an escheated area, etc.), but there is much less interest in the causes and consequences that this territorial groups have for the artistic production itself. The originality of this work comes from its approach to these places fundamentally in terms of their relationship with the art itself and the transformations it promotes within plastic creation.

This study is essentially and structurally a transdisciplinary investigation, which brings together analyses in Aesthetics, Art and Art Sciences, History of Art, Sociology of Art and Urban Geography.

The work is composed of two sections. The first one examines six contemporary art territories, in addition to a historical chapter that summarizes the evolution of these types of places since the Middle Ages. These six territories are: the district of Faubourg Saint-Denis (Paris), the district of Macarena (Bogota), the district of San Telmo (Buenos Aires), the district of Belleville (Paris), the district of Red Hook (New York) and, finally, the city of Berlin with a focus on the district of Neuk├Âlln. Finally, we propose a broad synthesis where we establish the conclusions and hypotheses that emerge from the study of these places.

The second part analyses, individually, the plastic or theoretical creations of seven personalities working in the field of contemporary art who have lived in the Faubourg Saint-Denis, Paris, since the year 2000: Nathalie Heinich, Nicolas Bourriaud, Jean-Philipe Antoine, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ester Shalev-Gerz, Pierre Huyghe and Olga Kisseleva. Subsequently, as in the previous section, we evaluate whether or not elements of a collective strategy emerge from these individual cases, which ones, and how they relate to each other. Finally, in the overall conclusion we summarize the various elements studied and highlight a series of hypotheses that emerge from them.

(Currently being published at the CTHS editions)