Between Market, Art and Politics: The Different Ways of Ressignification of the Old Industrial Spaces in the City of São Paulo

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 1:15 PM
Room: 311+312
Oral Presentation
Verônica SALES PEREIRA , Unesp, Bauru, Brazil
Since the beginning of this century, the old industrial buildings and spaces of the neighborhood of Mooca, in the city of São Paulo, have been the subject of economic, political and social practices guided by a cultural sense with an increasing aesthetic relevance.

Photography, painting, advertising, heritage practices, graffiti, have contributed to bring a new sense to these spaces, which goes from their private appropriation by real state market to the appreciation of public space by heritage state agencies. This implies in a redefinition of the relations between aesthetics and politics in a "postmodern" logic (Jameson, 2000; Harvey, 2000).

One of the consequences of this process is the construction of "postmodern urban landscapes" characterized by gentrification and disneyfication (Zukin, 2000, Smith, 2000). On the other hand, according to Huyssens (2000), there is no pure space outside the market culture, which leads us to question the limits of these processes, namely to consider the “specific strategies of representation and commodification and the context in which they are represented" (2000:21), or the critics to the regressive aestheticization of politics (and economy) by the politicization of art (W. Benjamin, 1985).

We will analyze the use of these strategies in the practices of artists, entrepreneurs, experts, dwellers and their conflictual context - involving real estate boom and heritage practices (Pereira, 2010; 2013); the formation of gated communities (Caldeira, 1997) and the resistance against them (ibid., 2012). How they give new meanings to identities, places, revealing the tensions and complementarities between advertising-driven aesthetization and politicization of art and problematize the construction of a singular public space: a heterogeneous urban landscape and a democratic political sphere, both institutional and non-institutional (Arendt, 1991; Habermas, 1984) in the city of São Paulo. We will use the methodology of visual sociology (Ferro, 2005), problematizing it in an interdisciplinary approach.