Herbert Ploegman, a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, will present an online lecture entitled Art and Gentrification in Athens, on Thursday 31 March 2022, at 7pm, as part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars, offered by the Greek Community of Melbourne.
The argument animating from this work is that, when a focus is kept on practices, Athens emerges as an object multiple. That is to say that Athens is neither to be understood as exclusively singularly, nor exclusively a plural ‘object’ — as perhaps also the English plural naming of the city suggests.
By tracing what is being presenced and absenced in relation to Athens, and the ways in which this is done, how Athens is constantly been brought about is analysed. As such, Athens emerges as an outcome of complex sets of practices that are partly in coherence, and partly in tension.
Two entry points are taken in this analysis: an art walk across the centre of Athens as organized by an artist; and ο Μεγάλος Περίπατος (The Great Promenade), as planned and implemented by the current Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis.
These two ‘walks’ juxtaposed with the aim of tracing a host of processes involved in the coming about of the Greek capital. Simultaneously, this analysis will render tangible the politics involved in the makings of ‘Athenses’.
Herbert Ploegman works as a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Intrigued by the burgeoning of artistic activities in the city of Athens in the wake of the ‘Greek crisis', he set out to investigate aspects of these developments from an anthropological angle, resulting in an analysis (in progress) of the coming about of multiple ‘Athenses’ at once. Before starting the PhD, he was an editor for the academic art journal Kunstlicht; a curatorial fellow of the 'plugin’ program at Schloss Ringenberg; and a program editor for Perdu, center for experimental poetry in Amsterdam.