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Semester 1

Critical and Cultural Theories of Contemporary Art (ARTX08087)







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This course cannot be taken alongside History of Art 2A or 2B. **Please note that Art courses have extremely limited spaces available, and are very popular, so students cannot be guaranteed a space in any Art course.** These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the Art department directly to request additional spaces.

Course Summary

This course provides you with thematic perspectives and methodologies of Visual Culture. You will develop an understanding of Critical and Cultural Theories and their relevance to art theory and practice. The course will show you how these discourses and techniques can be applied to vary our take on objects, ideas and experiences which we may otherwise conceive of as fixed. We will specifically focus on the radical questioning of conventional concepts of truth, value, unity and stability. This course provides routes to understand how disparate experiences come to form specific cultural paradigms that are interrelated with the production and reception of contemporary art. The framing of this course intends to give an up-to-date grounding in key arguments in Visual Culture and Critical and Cultural Theories of Contemporary Art in order to complement students' existing studio practice or study in another subject area.

Course Description

This is a lecture-based course, with accompanying seminars. Each lecture will be for one hour with a one hour seminar scheduled afterwards. The broad selection of themes which will be explored cover a spectrum of critical and cultural concepts of art including: the art world(s), aesthetics, populism and ideology, museums and institutional practices, concepts of time, the simulacra, gender and identity, decolonisation, power and surveillance technologies, net art through postinternet, performativity, sonic arts, art and protest, and concepts of environmental art through ecology and the anthropocene. Weekly classes will run with assigned readings from a combination of canonical texts relating to visual culture, and more recent comparative readings from the media sphere. This classroom activity aims to encourage a discursive participation, in order to increase students ability to critically reflect upon live current debates and inform their developing artistic practice. Students will be provided with feedback and feed forward essay tutorials mid-semester to allow for reflection and development of their research skills between formative and summative submissions.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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