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Establishing the Tate Modern Cultural Quarter: social and cultural regeneration through art and architecture

Dean, Corinna (2014) Establishing the Tate Modern Cultural Quarter: social and cultural regeneration through art and architecture. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The focus of my PhD is to examine the role of cultural regeneration through arts and architecture using Tate Modern as the principal case study. My analysis questions the role of culture in acting as an urban regeneration tool in north Southwark and in London more widely and how cultural output connects with those who influence the urban environment of Tate Modern. I begin by examining the ways in which the establishment of Tate Modern as an internationally acclaimed gallery of art has influenced the cultural regeneration of Bankside and London more broadly. I discuss local planning policy in which the former Power Station was situated, in order to understand the impact of the subsequent gallery of art socially and economically. I then discuss the wider ramifications of the establishment of Tate Modern by examining the recent history of developments around Tate Modern, in relation to the changing urban environment, as well as the jostling for urban ʻimaginariesʼ that potentially prioritises one direction of urban growth over another. In discussing how the regeneration affected the social conditions and concepts of community I consider how the institution adopted and implemented a strategy of inclusion towards the local community prior to its opening in 2000. Through my research I embedded myself within key grass roots organisations working directly or alongside Tate Modern (Better Bankside and Bankside Open Space Trust) and the local community in order to gain close access and observation of and into the field. Key to this project is identifying how the public interact with the gallery, and the ability of the building to act as a key urban element by knitting the hitherto underused North Southwark site into the surrounding urban fabric, whilst at the same time enabling key connections through and across the site. The focus of my research narrows from a micro to the macro-analysis in which, central to resolving the debate about the unique urban potential of the site and the building and institutionʼs ability to extend a definition of public within the urban environment, I focus on the spatial condition of the Turbine Hall. My analysis of the Turbine Hall as a public space, mediated through a major arts institution, enables me to arrive at a definition of public, which transgresses the urban and art sphere. This research is supported by an architectural theoretical analysis combined with art theory, and examines primary research material made up of photographic images posted on the social networking site Flickr as well as my own photographic images of the area.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2014 Corinna Lucy Henrietta Dean
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Supervisor: Tavernor, Robert

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