Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Geography

Major Professor

Micheline F. van Riemsdijk

Committee Members

Derek H. Alderman, Joshua F. J. Inwood

Abstract

This thesis uses literatures on art geography, community building, and the art market to explore the process of space-making for art production. In the year 2000, the Antagonist Art Movement (AAM) was established in New York City to create virtual and physical spaces that support art and artists. I contribute to an ongoing discussion about the relationship between art and geography by exploring how artists create spaces for art, and the role of artist communities in maintaining such spaces. The paper uses three documentary films created by the AAM, interviews with key Antagonist members, and observations conducted in NYC to explore the spaces that facilitate art production. My findings reveal a reciprocal relationship between spaces for art and community building. In addition, the act of art-space creation by the AAM resists the demands of the art market on artists. The demands of the art market are a direct product of neoliberalism. This paper extends the literature on art geographies by studying what Hannah Neate refers to as the “alternative geographies of the galleries,” and explores the ways in which artists create spaces for art beyond the venues offered by contemporary art galleries. Thus, I contend that the processes of art production are as valuable to scholars as a finished art product, and that the AAM uses art-space creation as a means of resisting the art market and the demands of neoliberalism. The politics of art-space creation offers geographers a rich and nuanced understanding of the relationship between community building, globalization, and space.

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