I am considering submitting a proposal to run a Cumberland Lodge Colloquium on the above topic. The starting point is this extract Grayson Perry’s 2013 Reith Lectures:
And this idea of being sincere, real, being realness, having integrity, sincerity, authenticity – these are qualities that artists need, you know, to make their work; and they should protect them.
But these qualities, they are very, very valuable in the marketplace. … especially in the urban ecology. And if you think of artists, they’re like the shock troops of gentrification. We march in. We’re the first people to go we like this old warehouse, yeah we need a cheap studio. You know so that’s what happens – artists move into the cheap housing and the cheap spaces and they make them … you know they do their work and they’re quite cool and a little bit of a buzz starts up. And then maybe a little café opens up and people start saying, “Ooh, that’s kind of interesting, that area where those artists hang out. I think I’m going to go down there.” And people start noticing, you know, and maybe some designers open up and a little boutique. You know and suddenly, before you know it, the dead hand of the developer is noticing it. And before you know it, the designers move in and that’s it. – bang goes the area.” (Greyson Perry, Reith Lectures)
I’ve been working with Ilana Mitchell Wunderbar and other local artists to think about some of these issues. I’d like to hear from philosophers, urban planners, sociologists, economists, geographers, historians, artists … Anyone who might like to be involved in shaping the proposal and — if we’re successful — putting on the event. PhD students are also warmly encouraged to be in touch.
Please share widely.