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Title: Imaging the city : modernity, capitalism and the making of modern Athens
Author: Bardis, Antonia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 6106
Awarding Body: University of Derby
Current Institution: University of Derby
Date of Award: 2011
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All throughout the 1911 century, the city of Athens manifest a distinct character that was inspired by its history. Flourishing with Neoclassical civic architecture, it remained a modest metropolis that was planned to function harmoniously around its ancient monuments. Today in the 21st century, its landscape has undergone a radical transformation. The city has expanded uncontrollably to accommodate an ever-increasing inflow of urban migration, accumulating one half of the nation's entire population within a confined geological space. Athens has become a product of cataclysmic urban growth. Furthermore, the ancient city is becoming increasingly anonymous, sprawling, with a landscape that is subjected to dominant economic trends. My photographic work for this practice led Ph. D. critically examines the ways in which development has made an impact on the Athenian landscape, altering its physiognomy. My research draws together Eugene Atget's documentation of the city of Paris, in conjunction to Walter Benjamin's criticism of modernity to demonstrate how capitalism produced a destructive effect on culture and a loss of history to society at large. In addition, I investigate the documentary value of the work by contemporary photographer Andreas Gursky to establish the character of our own modern age, and to create a critical image of the city and its landscape in the photographs of my work. Throughout my research, l consider how Atget, Benjamin as well asGursky utilise the aesthetic of the photographic document as a model for generating a criticism of society, new ways of perceiving the world, in addition to generating a sense of historical awareness for the observer of their work. Through particular subjects such as the industry of property development, tourism, as well as others, I explore how Athens has lost the inherent connection with its history and the cultural heritage that it is simultaneously trying to promote. Juxtaposing Athens with Old Paris, I consider how the historic parts of the city become destroyed in the interest of urban development, and argue that the present chaotic appearance of city is not only the product of its modern history, but also the outcome of capitalism as a world historic condition of our time
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Photography ; Document ; Documentary ; Urban landscape ; Eugene Atget ; Andreas Gursky ; Walter Benjamin