Xenia Kopf

Doctoral Candidate

Doctoral Thesis (Co-Supervision)

The city as performative space. Cultural Praxis in Urban Transitory Spaces.

The research project revolves around the role of cultural practices in urban transformation processes, with a focus on the production of space and its political dimension. It is based upon a relational understanding of space, opening up this concept towards performativity.

Through a qualitative single case study on the Arena Vienna 1976, complemented by several related contemporary cases, specific places, actants and practices (artistic as well as everyday cultural) are identified as the core elements of the space production process. Their interrelations, agencies and (de-) constructive potentials are analysed using an interpretative approach, with special regards to conflicts, power relations and hierarchies. Methods from, among others, Oral History, Urban Ethnography and Grounded Theory are applied.

The aim of the research project is to develop a multidimensional perspective on ‘the city’ aside from prevalent concepts in planning or social sciences, and instead informed by cultural studies and humanities, adequately integrating the cultural dimension of the subject area.