January 18, 2010

Urbanum Burgensis

If we cannot recognize the old bourgeois revolution in the act of gentrification by art, it is because modern theory has convinced us that this relationship is to be disqualified. Bohemians and hipsters are not connected to the historical avant-garde, and the latter is not connected to the bourgeois revolution of the age of Enlightenment. It cannot be so, for this would amount to saying that gentrification contains within it the germ of revolution. Surely this is absurd, for in a revolution, yuppies must die, not prosper! And on the specious notion that gentrification is an extension of the old avant-garde, for no other reason than that the avant-garde and gentrification both involve artists, we are left only with a vague piece of hubris in which art somehow redeems the world, never mind what happens to the neighborhood.