IMPLICATIONS OF ART ON REGENERATION
Art is something an unnecessary necessity. Imagine a world without art, music, cinema, dance, opera, literature and poetry. That world would be a very dull place devoid of thing that distinguishes us human beings from other species. Without art the banality of reality would be intolerable. As we know that there are good and also bad sides of everything in this world so today we are going to discuss the potential positives as well as negatives of the implication of arts/artists on the processes of regeneration. Art plays complex roles in regeneration and gentrification. Art has been a key element for regeneration for several years.
In the Park
Ley was sitting on a bench in the park and was thinking about something very deeply. He was so deep into his thoughts that he didn’t even knew that his friend Mathews came and sat next to him. Mathews called his name again and again but he didn’t listen. Finally, Mathews has to take a pin out of his pocket and pinched him with it to get his attention.
Ley: heyyy, what are you doing? (Stunned look on his face)
Mathews: I was calling your name again and again but you were not listening.
Ley: So? What’s the need to pinch me with this needle? Are you mad?
Mathews: (Laughing heavily) heyyy! What should have I done to get your attention? You were so deep into your thoughts you didn’t even notice that I came and sat next to you.
Ley: I noticed bro. I was just thinking about something.
Mathews: Something? Something what? (Surprised)
Ley: Why should I tell you?
Mathews: Hey brother, tell me naa, please! (Smiling)
Ley: Ok ok, let me tell you.
Mathews: Yeah, go ahead.
Ley: I was thinking… (Looking at the sky)
Mathews: What were you thinking? (Strangely looking at him)
Ley: Art is such a master piece. Art is so very important in our lives. Without art and the Artists the world would be so dull and devoid of emotions that nobody would like to live and survive in this world. Artists make this life beautiful for the people. They make it worth living and enjoying.
Mathews: Ohhh, I see, is that soo?
Ley: Yeah. Art is something without what there is no meaning of this life. Everything we see around ourselves is a master piece of art. (Looking at the sky again) look at the sky. How beautifully it is standing at the top of this world without and pillar and falling on to us. This is the art of GOD, The Almighty. No one can do that except Him.
Mathews: Would you mind if I say something?
Ley: Yeah go on. Why would I mind anything? Just say it.
Mathews: You are saying this all and praising art of the artists because you are a artist too. That’s why you are saying this right?
Ley: You mean I am an artist and I’m praising myself indirectly?
Mathews: Then what are you doing now? Doesn’t make sense anything other than this.
Ley: Listen Mathews, You are my friend and you know me well. I’m not a self-praising person. I don’t do that at all. Art is something that really needs to be praised and artists are the people who really need to be appreciated.
Mathews: I don’t agree with you.
Ley: But why?
Mathews: Listen Ley! I belong to a very poor family and me and my family can’t afford art at all. It is costly and it also has to be changed in a year or so because the style changes with time.
Ley: What if I tell you the advantages of art and its positives?
Mathews: I don’t know what you’ll say but I can tell you the negatives of art and also artists.
(Suddenly thunder strikes and it starts raining heavily)
Ley: Oh my God. Rain? The weather and the sky was so clear, how does this happen?
Mathews: yeah ley. It’s surprising for me as well.
Ley: Run Mathews! (Both running towards their home)
In the Car
Ley was in his home sitting on the sofa when Mathews called him that he is waiting for him outside his house. Ley asks him to tell why is he calling him then Mathews says that he is calling him for some important reason so he must come out and they have to go somewhere urgently.
Mathews: Heyyy! Leyyy! You there? Come out of your house. I’m waiting. (Knocking the door heavily)
Ley: Yeah, wait! I’m coming. Just a second.
(Ley comes out and Mathews is waiting for him at the door. He takes him to his car where three more people are sitting in the car already.)
Ley: Hey! Hello young people, how you doing?
Finlay: We are absolutely fine.
Bristow: What about you Ley? Where are you busy these days? No hello hi to friends huh?
Miremadi: He has become a big artist now, why would he call us or meet us now? (Smiling)
Ley: Oh noo brothers. You all know me well. It’s not like that. I’m just way too busy these days with my work.
Mathews: Ley, we were discussing something very important. Go on. I want to listen.
Ley: Really? Here now?
Finlay: What’s the matter guys?
Bristow: Anything serious bro?
Ley: No no, just discussing upon the topic of artist and arts.
Finlay: Ohhh. Your favorite topic right? (Looking and smiling towards Ley)
Mathews: Now tell us. How is Art so much important in our lives? (Rudely)
(Miremadi is driving the car)
Miremadi: take it easy bro( talking to Mathews)
Ley: Brother, Art and Artists have played a role in both of the main long established theories of gentrification, looking respectively at ‘culture’ and ‘capital’ as the key driver of the process. Cultural analysis of gentrification identified the individual artist as an important agent in the instigation of gentrification processes in old-working class vicinities.
Mathews: Well… actual works of art can be ugly, offensive, boring, hurtful and upsetting, over-priced and simply ridiculous. So, any art work which is like that, could be detrimental for the artist, or gallery or place that exhibits it, or the person who owns it.
Ley: Yes I agree with you but you must also agree with me that art has some very positive implications on the regeneration processes. The belief here is that massive investment in large pieces of arts infrastructure will bring tourists and wealthy new residents to areas which were previously believed to be lacking in both economic and cultural capital.
Ley: Also, whilst the cost of infrastructure is often huge, the investment is not aimed at improving the lives of existing residents and businesses, rather it seeks to attract new residents and businesses- The creative class. This has the very real effect of displacing people and businesses.
Mathews: I think you are right. You are an artist and have a lot of knowledge about this. I don’t know much about it.
Ley: No brother it’s not like that, don’t embarrass me. I like to remain humble always.
Finlay: I’m dying of my hunger. Should we go somewhere and eat something? Please
Bristow: Yeah me too. Turn the car to that restaurant Miremadi. Hurry up. I’m going to die.
Miremadi: Ok ok, I’m starving too. Listening these two from a long time have made my ears and mind go crazy. (Smiling cunningly)
Mathews: While we are going towards the restaurant, tell me something more about arts Ley!
Finlay and Bristow: Oh please Mathews, He’ll start again you know that very well. (Annoyed)
Ley: Hahaha ( Laughing) Listen. It’s important.
Miremadi: Noo, We don’t want to listen anymore, Please shut your mouth ( Angry)
Mathews: Let him speak. Do your own work. Don’t stop him.
Ley: Ok listen Mathews! Arts help strengthen social cohesion, increase personal confidence and life skills, create common grounds between people, improve their mental and physical well-being, strengthen their ability to act as democratic citizens, develop new training and employment routes, attract those whose needs are not addressed by other provision or develop organizational capacity- or all of them.
Mathews: It was really a very healthy and informative debate with you. Really opened my mind and made me think differently on this scenario. Thank you so much my friend.
Ley: No problem my dear friend.
Miremadi: See! Here come the restaurant. Let’s go inside and order something quickly.
Bristow: Whatever you do but first let me go the washroom otherwise I’ll do it here.
(Everyone laughing heavily)
Ley: Let’s go eat something!
Mathews: let’s go brother.
(Then they go inside the restaurant and their loose talk continues and jokes coming and everyone laughing heavily)
· Hickling, P. (2002) when the hope comes in, The Guardian Unlimited, 24 June.
· Ives, C. (2002) Baltic Quay Housing Development, Gateshead Quays Update, Issue 3, May.
· Landry, C., Greene, L., Matarsosso, F. & Bianchini, F. (1996) The Art of Regeneration: Urban Renewal through Cultural Activity (Stroud: Comedia).