Fall 2015 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Objects represent the stuff of our lives that we accumulate, give away, consume, and discard. In this course we will examine the object in the context of photography and contemporary art. When does a simple utilitarian object become a work of art? How does the photographic transcription of an art object function as a stand-in for the real thing? When do photographic images serve as the point of departure for the generation of a sculptural form, as in a reiteration or refabrication? Can the photograph serve as the final document in some aspects of sculptural practice?
The divisions between categories defined by mediums--photography, sculpture, drawing, painting, performance--become eroded as artists mine their intersections. Discussion will involve a reflection on how approaches to sculpture have informed contemporary photography, especially when prioritizing aspects of space and time. We will consider ideas relating to: the challenge to the tradition of the monument; the Surrealist found object and involuntary sculpture; the Duchampian readymade; Rauschenberg's assemblages or Combines; land art and site-specific artworks; the recent embrace of the anti-masterpiece and the anti-collection; and the immersive experience of installation art.
Students will apply these concepts through their selection and arrangement of objects and their resulting photographic responses, as well as through class discussion, critical analysis, and research. In-class studio sessions will facilitate practice with framing, lighting, and positioning of elements before the camera, and preparing digital image files for print output. Artists under discussion may include Gabriel Orozco, Hitoshi Nomura, Sara VanDerBeek, and Robert Smithson.
A selection of articles-- available electronically--by scholars such as Rosalind Krauss, Briony Fer, Margaret Iverson, Massimiliano Gioni.
Students should have access to a still or video camera, and be able to output their images to print or digital media. Visual responses can be generated using consumer-level photographic, book, and video processes.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Requirements include: attendance and participation in class workshops, critiques, and discussions; digital images--output to print, artist book, or video--created in response to assignments and in fulfillment of a final portfolio requirement; a short essay providing an overview of the final portfolio; and a research project (short critical essay and annotated bibliography).