Zoology, philosophy, primatology, culture studies, epistemology and media theory

1: research

identification and investigation of a range of academic and critical sources. read critically and devise your own questions in relation to current art discourse.

2: Analysis

examination and interpretation of resources. evaluate and synthesise relevant research sources and methods.

3: Subject Knowledge

understanding and application of subject knowledge and underlying principles. demonstrate an understanding of current critical discourse and its historical and theoretical contexts.

4: Communication and Presentation

Clarity on purpose, skills in selected media, awareness of adoption of appropriate conversations, sensitivity to the needs of diverse audiences. identify and use appropriate forms of presentation to communicate a reasoned argument.

essay questions:

1. Haraway’s idea of situated knowledges refers to accounts of the world that come from a particular location, but it also can be thought of as knowledge that temporarily re-situates the reader/viewer, as they encounter it, often uncomfortably. Identify and discuss examples of artworks by Glenn Ligon and Kara Walker and their critical reception in relation to these issues.

2. Why have appeals to ‘expression’ or individual ‘feeling’ in art often been so abstract ie conjuring up an anonymous figure of ‘the artist’? Why do politics or specific lives need to be flattened out or pushed aside in order to preserve ‘aesthetics’ or ‘beauty’? Discuss these questions making reference to different ways of discussing painting that we covered in the seminar, and in relation to contemporary practice using as an example the work of Felipe Baeza and Rochelle Feinstein.

3. Baudrillard’s text Simulation & Simulacra is often misunderstood as meaning something like ‘nothing is real’ or ‘everything is fake’ – what is he actually getting at? Discuss this text making reference to later responses to it as well as the context in which he was initially writing.

4. Peter Halley’s writing played an important role in popularising Baudrillard’s ideas in the New York art world, and were also integral to his painting practice. Hito Steyerl is an artist working today who also writes frequently, addressing technology, power and culture. Compare two of their texts, and discuss the differences between their respective insights and conclusions.

5. The condition of hybridity recurs again and again in cultural theory. Discuss some examples of where the mixing or colliding of distinct languages has been used as a deliberate artistic strategy making explicit connection to related critical discussion

6. Why did so much performance art of the 1960s make reference to painting? Discuss selected works from this time in relation to their critical reception. Consider an example of contemporary practice that has been enabled by work from this time.

7.Discuss the work and critical reception of Elaine Sturtevant – if the object of our attention is not supposed to be the individual objects she produced, then what it? And what then is the status of those objects?

8.There are many examples of recent painting that seem to embody some sense of paradox, uncertain presence or undecidability. This condition is shared by Donna Haraway’s vision of a feminist objectivity or Judith Butler’s thinking through of queer gender performance. Discuss some of these ideas in relation to selected artworks of your choice.


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