HUMN 311 F001: Visual Art Seminar
Priority for this course is given to students in CRCP, PHOT, and VIAR.
These seminars are taught from the viewpoint of a practicing artist, and focus on historical and/or contemporary issues relevant to particular disciplines or subjects. Seminars develop student critical awareness of the content and context of cultural production in relation to a wide range of practices and theories. Students attend lectures and discussion groups; in addition they are required to undertake research, give presentations, complete visual projects, and write papers. Descriptions of specific seminar topics will be included with registration packages.
Topic: On Gesture
Framed by a gallery, a magazine, a screen, or public space, every work of art is animated by a contradictory polarity: On the one hand it wears a “death mask”; it is magically isolated, captured and reified, a privileged instant– a pose. On the other hand, its “dynamis” remains intact; it is connected to its gesture, and the whole movement of which the ‘finished’ work is but a part. In this course we will employ Giorgio Agamben’s concept of “gesture” as a lens through which to examine how movement plays out in contemporary art. Through practical experiments, we’ll interrogate how formal actions like repetition, interruption and relation express themselves as gestures. And through readings and discussions in the philosophy of aesthetics, we will see how every gesture –brushstrokes, placed objects, walking– carries ethical and political meanings. At the end of the semester, students will make a work of art and write a paper that reflects on how movement is expressed through the gestures in their work within the larger context of their art practice.
Completion of Second Year
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Sep 3-Dec 14