[Marxism] Fwd: Left Forum 2014: panel on art and gentrification | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jun 21 14:04:51 MDT 2014

This is the third in a series of videos I made at the recently concluded 
Left Forum.

As I will point out, the topic might be of great interest to those who 
have looked askance at the “art market” but unfortunately the 
presentations were not that great. I do urge you watch the video, 
however, since the speakers were genuine authorities in the field of how 
artists often unwittingly serve as the shock troops of gentrification.

As a New Yorker, this is a topic that interests me a great deal since I 
have seen any number of neighborhoods in New York undergo gentrification 
through a process that follows a familiar pattern. Artists looking for a 
cheap studio will buy or rent commercial lofts, often in violation of 
building codes, and then turn them into living lofts. Two old friends, 
now deceased, bought a loft on the Bowery in 1969 for that very purpose. 
Around the same time, further to the West, Soho was being transformed 
after the same fashion. I am not sure how many artists are operating in 
Soho, an area that is punctuated by Moncler, Gucci, and Armani boutiques.

Soon to follow was Tribeca, an area that followed the same pattern. 
Besides the boutiques, Soho and Tribeca are fabulous places for hedge 
fund managers to live. With their tattoos and their French bulldogs, 
they feel utterly bohemian.


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