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Title: Shit house to penthouse : an autoethnographic investigation into the interface between artists and East London
Author: Goddard, Patrick
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 0091
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis consists of three films, each around 35 minutes long, and a written submission in three parts. The films are fictional but are shot in a DIY documentary style. Based on extensive research, they collectively examine urban change and the role of the creative class in East London (two are set in Tower Hamlets and one in Dagenham). As video essays in the mockumentary form the 'documentary maker' is also a scripted character - a partially fictionalised version of myself. This flawed narrator becomes a vehicle to critique a particular class, gender and race perspective. In each film the supposed thematic stalls as power relations between this fictional filmmaker and his subjects are reversed or hijacked calling into question the artist's own pretentions, presumptions and ideology. Through this methodology the films are able to examine a host of characters in East London whilst simultaneously critiquing the documentary format itself and the ethics of ethnography. The written submission is similarly pseudo-autobiographical though less fictional or satirical. Fluctuating between dialogue, anecdote and more formal academic writing, the three essays weave together research on gentrification, class antagonisms, the psychology of space and architecture, the role of the creative class in London and the enigmatic notion of authenticity both personally and with regard to urban space. Like the films, two of the essays are set in Tower Hamlets and one in Dagenham. The submission is autoethnographic in two senses: firstly it foregrounds the identity of the author whilst presenting the research; secondly it is partially a study of a class and culture of which I myself am a member. Inverting the position of the aloof cultural critic, the writing and films wrestle with the complexities of commitment, personal and political integrity, and what it means to make artwork in the city.
Supervisor: Sworn, Corin ; Bull, Malcolm Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: creative clustering ; East London ; Urban Studies ; Architecture ; gentrification