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Art and gentrification: pursuing the urban pastoral in Hoxton, London

Harris, A; (2012) Art and gentrification: pursuing the urban pastoral in Hoxton, London. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers , 37 (2) pp. 226-241. 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00465.x. Green open access

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Abstract

The role of artists as precursors and agents of gentrification processes has been widely acknowledged and studied. Yet there has been limited consideration of the particular aesthetic practices and attitudes deployed by these artists, and the related urban landscapes they have helped shape and re-imagine. This paper uses the notion drawn from art history of the ‘urban pastoral’ to highlight largely disregarded socio-cultural and political relations of power accompanying gentrification. It focuses on a district of inner London called Hoxton where a deindustrialised location and a legacy of forms and practices of British working-class popular culture offered artists a rich resource and socio-spatial environment to work and operate during the 1990s. By indulging in fantasies and performances of the urban pastoral, these artists fashioned a new cultural landscape that not only catered to many of the lifestyle tastes and investment priorities within postindustrial London, but manipulated and downplayed the complex and potentially conflictual histories of the area. The paper argues that this capture of urban space through the pastoral is indicative of new forms of gentrification where class-based and race-related neighbourhood change occurs without direct displacement.

Type: Article
Title: Art and gentrification: pursuing the urban pastoral in Hoxton, London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00465.x
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00465.x
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1349264
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