Remap: the Fine Art of gentrification

Lower East side, New York: 1980 – Metaxourgeion, Athens: 2009

Gentrification is an important aspect of this strategy of impoverishment. By creating neighborhoods and housing that only the white-collar labor force can afford, the cities are systematically destroying the material conditions for the survival of millions of people.
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The process of gentrification in New York City takes various forms. On the Lower East Side these have included abandoned buildings, harassing and evicting tenants, and rapidly turning over neighborhood property in order to escalate real-estate values.
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The alignment of art-world interest with those of the city government and the real-estate industry became explicit to many residents on the Lower East Side.
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In addition to the economic impact of artists and galleries, the art world functions ideologically to exploit the neighborhood for its bohemian or sensualist connotations while deflecting attention away from underlying social, economic, and political processes.
(Rosalyn Deutsche and Cara Gendel Ryan)


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