The project "Trilogy of Gentrification: Johannesburg | Milano | Rio de Janeiro" began in Johannesburg, South Africa with the individual exhibition "Braamopoly" held in 2013. The project is divided into 3 episodes of academic research and local art practice. Each episode is inspired by the previous one and is enriched by new components and new collaborations. It ended with the exhibition Gentrilogy at the Hélio Oiticia Municipal Art Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August 2019, where the results of the three experiences have been showcased. It works on the concept of 'creative control' through a transdisciplinary research between urbanism, art and activism.
The project combines three perspectives, research, activism and art in a transdisciplinary way, balancing the subjectivity of the author, who identifies herself with the city and its residents, with critical objectivity. Gentrification is associated with the diffusion of economies into transformations, engines of cognitive capitalism, part of a unified economic system of which we ourselves are a part.
The issue of inhabiting a space and the definition of what is defined as public, is seen from the inside out, fueling a continuous critical analysis of the observed phenomena. This personal approach becomes universal by transcending geographical boundaries, juxtaposing experiences on three different continents. This meeting of subjectivities puts in check the normativity of a progress, whilst at the same time diffuses worldwide, ignoring the human experience. Taking a position in the midst of living processes, urban transformations such as gentrification demands transgressing the embedded structure of academic research, the inherent bias of activism, and the anti-utilitarian aspect of art.
The Gentrification Trilogy: Johannesburg | Milano | Rio de Janeiro intends to propose actions that stimulate a critical position in relation to the urban transformations of neighborhoods chosen in the three cities. One of the actions that repeats the same format in each city, is the invitation addressed to artists and operators of the cultural area whose work deals with public space and urban issues to participate in a public debate. This is accompanied with audio recordings.
The debate intends to be an invitation to take a self-critical position on the role we, creatives, have in urban processes that can use art and creativity as a control and appeasement device.
Recordings took place: Rio de Janeiro, Residência São João e Casa França Brasil, Indisciplinas 2016; Johannesburg, Room Gallery, Creative Control Round Table, 2016; Lisboa, Conferencia Arte e Política Reloaded, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Capacetando Verão Combustível, Veículo Leve Sobre Trilhos, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Capacete Talks, The Creative Control: Rio & Joburg, 2015; Milano, Piano Terra, La Trilogia della Gentrificazione, 2015; Johannesburg, Room Gallery, The Carpet Series, 2013.