Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spatial Reclamation

Todd Yingling
The dystopian mode of the murals and monikers like Woe and Despair indicate that graffiti is often the work of the disenfranchised. The poor and disenfranchised likely feel unwelcome in the security/consumption oriented University Village, and the shops on the Ave only provide conversational space to those who can pay the tab. Graffiti allows the disenfranchised to take back spaces that they have been excluded from, while simultaneously giving them a platform to voice their disapproval of societal conditions. Individual graffiti artists are likely motivated by ambiguous personal dissatisfaction and a desire for subcultural recognition and self expression. But cumulatively their ad hoc manipulations of the urban fabric function as an answer to the privatization of urban space brought about by capitalistic forms of postmodern development. Thus spatial reclamation is a function of graffiti art regardless of whether or not its creators are explicitly aware of it.

View U-District Graffiti in a larger map

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