Esthétique propre. La mise en administration des graffitis à Paris de 1977 à 2017

Abstract : In this PhD, the “graffiti” refers negatively to every practice of wall/mural inscription, which contributes to degrade the “aesthetic order of a city produced by the public authorities. This expression encompasses both the notion of order, that is the political power which is troubled by any graffiti and the aesthetic dimension of this power, something that overtakes the only public expression regulation and is part of the broader government of public spaces. With such a definition, graffiti refers not only to a message, a deviance, a degradation, a cultural practice or even an art, but it also becomes an operating concept for a political science study. This definition as an « aesthetic disorder » leads us to examine the public policies measures which contribute to produce an aesthetic order proper to the city. This reflection also allows to question categorisations, public problems and their effects on common sense constructions, graffiti representations and on the physical, material, aesthetic aspect of the city. As a socio-historical study on public policies, this PhD traces the history of the graffitis’ “administrativisation” in Paris, the production of an aesthetic order in this city from 1977 to 2017. The local council of Paris regulates those paintings as stains, through cleaning policies, with erasure measures, but it also regulates graffitis as cultural objects, through many cultural measures, carried by different sectors of the administration (urban planning, cultural and touristic policies). Tracing the genesis of those measures in the public local administration, we try to understand how the coherence between several administration areas is built, and we show how the graffiti becomes a public problem in this context. Degradation, visual pollution, source of insecurity, popular culture or urban art: from 1977 to 2017, the public problem of “graffiti” has been built around several definitions by local actors. Based on archives, interviews, observations and photographs, this work attempts to outline the diversity of the public local actors’ roles, the problem redefinition’s conditions and its successive agenda settings. In this socio-history of the graffiti’s “administrativisation”, our hypothesis is the following: the graffiti seizure by local authorities is revealing their ambition to monopolise a legitim definition of “the beautiful” public space, a legitim city image. The aim of this PhD is then to identify this legitimacy construction, its historical, social and political conditions of appearance. The demonstration is built on two parts, tracing chronologically the history of two aspects of the graffiti public problem. First, we clarify how local public authorities try to standardize (to norm) the aesthetic of public spaces through cleaning policies that tag the graffiti as a deviance, a source of disorder. Secondly, this analyse will focus on how different public cultural measures progressively promote some forms of graffitis and lead to a normalisation of the urban aesthetic. Finally, we show how urban actors organise the control of urban aesthetic, and which are the social and political issues hold into the production of a certain aesthetic order.
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Julie Vaslin. Esthétique propre. La mise en administration des graffitis à Paris de 1977 à 2017. Science politique. Université Lyon 2 Lumière; Sciencespo Lyon, 2017. Français. ⟨tel-01824193⟩

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