|Ph.D Student||Ayalon Sharon|
|Subject||Staging Urbanism - The intersection of Art; Space and|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisors||Professor Tal Alon-Mozes|
|Dr. Meirav Aharon|
|Full Thesis text|
This is a socio-spatial research that which explores the reciprocal relationship between art, urban space and the public., It suggests that this three-headed intersection, forms a conceptual framework for deciphering the unique urbanism of the city in which they takes place. The research expends the theoretical discourse regarding this relationship beyond the common perspective of art as an urban renewal strategy to position it within the theoretical discourse on urbanism
Through a discussion, that ranges between macro and micro perspectives and between art’s ability to reinforce or subvert the socio-spatial structures of the city, this research presents the unique characteristics of Acre as an example for a peripheral mixed city in the Middle East. On the on hand, the research demonstrates how the city’s socio-spatial structures, stemming from the continual Israeli-Palestine conflict, are replicated in the city's artistic activity. This insight is analysed first through a macro perspective of the five theatre institutions, showing how each institution functions as a closed sphere, which addresses only a small part of the population, and therefore fails to challenge the urban socio-spatial power relations. It then proceeds in using a micro perspective, which focuses on the Fringe Theatre Festival, to demonstrate how the city’s artistic hierarchy is translated into spatial segregation, which duplicates the urban segregation and condenses it to the scale of one quarter.
On the other hand, this research reveals processes of change in the power structures of Acre's urbanism and highlights art’s part in this process. The macro perspective focuses on the struggle between the city and the Tel Aviv artists’ community in 2017. The accumulation of forces of cultural production, evolved into a city consciousness, which enabled it to stand up for its right to produce and manage its own cultural capital. The micro perspective followed life stories and trajectories of individual artists suggesting that the local theatre field enabled alternative artistic trajectories that progress under different rules from those of the national theatre field. Through these twofaced insights, the research culminates; suggesting that art has the power to bring about changes in cities, not only as part of culture-led-urban-renewal strategies, but also as part of change in the city's socio-spatial structures.
In addition to this theoretical contribution on the methodological level, the research suggests super-positioning; a method adopted from architectural practice in order to integrate top-down macro perspectives with bottom up micro perspective as a research method . Utilizing superposition, it combines methods from architecture and urban studies, mainly spatial and historical research, with methods from the social sciences and specifically ethnography. On the empirical level, the study provides a new perspective on the city of Acre, as a mixed peripheral city, examining its relation to artistic activity. It therefore expands upon the body of knowledge dealing with these types of cities and emphasizes how their unique characteristics lead to 'other' forms of urbanism.