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Urban Occupations Urbaines: Curating the Post-industrial Landscape


Urban Occupations Urbaines: Curating the Post-industrial Landscape

Janssen, Shauna (2014) Urban Occupations Urbaines: Curating the Post-industrial Landscape. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Urban Occupations Urbaines: Curating the Post-industrial Landscape
Shauna Janssen, Ph.D.
Concordia University, 2014
This thesis is a socio-historical and spatial study of Griffintown, Montreal. I use Griffintown, a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood and one of Montreal’s formerly working-class and industrial quarters, as a case study for critiquing the ethics and politics of urban revitalization projects, and affirming the critical and creative role that indeterminacy and interstitial spaces play in the cultural life of post-industrial landscapes.
In 2010, I initiated Urban Occupations Urbaines, a curatorial project and invited artists to critically and creatively engage with Griffintown’s spatial history and imminent transformation. Over the course of one year, Urban Occupations Urbaines became a catalyst for assembling diverse forms agency, as well as uncovering less visible and known forms of agency that have occupied and contributed to the culture of Griffintown’s then post-industrial landscape. In this thesis, I situate curatorial practice as a critical methodology for engaging particular communities, artists, and the public in a broader cultural discourse concerning the spatial politics of urban revitalization. I
illuminate how site-specific art projects have the capacity to mobilize community activism, modes of participation, spatial interventions, the public role of artists, and engender collaborative forms of knowledge production. I identify what latent agencies are made visible and intelligible through the process of curating site-specific art projects in a post-industrial landscape, and under what urban conditions ideas about community,
place, creativity, and public space are being reimagined.
An interdisciplinary project, the thesis builds on critical discourses addressing the politics of curating site-specific, collaborative, participatory and socially-engaged art practices in relation to theories of the city, space, place, performance studies, posthumanist thought, and feminist epistemology. The goals of this dissertation are to broaden the discourse of interdisciplinary research, make an original contribution in its methodology and, more specifically, bring together a spatial, cultural and social analysis
of urban revitalization politics through politically and socially-engaged site-specific art practices. In this aim, I foreground curatorial practice as a method for this kind of research, the many forms that site-specific art projects take, and show how, as social and spatial practices, they carry their own forms of critical urban discourse and cultural pedagogy.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Concordia University > Research Units > Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Janssen, Shauna
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:28 March 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hammond, Cynthia
Keywords:curatorial practice, post-industrial landscape, urban revitalization politics, indeterminacy, performance, public space, community
ID Code:978384
Deposited On:16 Jun 2014 13:57
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:46
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