Why Not Art History
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A broad explanation of why Visual Cultural Studies is taught at Edinburgh College of Art rather than a more conventional Art History

A broad explanation of why Visual Cultural Studies is taught at Edinburgh College of Art rather than a more conventional Art History

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Why Not Art History Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Why not study art history?
    Robert Rauschenberg (1953) Erased De Kooning
  • 2. Bestist!
    Second Bestist
    Third Bestist
  • 3. Carol Gwizdak (2007) Hyacinth Ring (Seed Head, Silver ,Porcelain)
  • 4. Marianne Brandt (1924) Tea infuser and strainer.
  • 5. Damien Hirst (2007) Spot Painting
  • 6. Suitable for Mass Production
    Not Suitable for Mass Production
  • 7. Marianne Brandt (1924) Tea infuser and strainer. Marcel Breuer (1927-8) Wassily Chair. Walter Gropius (1938-9) Breuer House
  • 8. Rationalforms
    Turbid, Organic Forms
  • 9. Sol LeWitt (1968[?]) 142, Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • 10. Functional
    Useless
  • 11.
  • 12. Individual
    Homogenous
  • 13. Environmentally Conscious
  • 14. Mitchell Joachim (2006) The Fab Tree Hab
  • 15. Art for Art’s Sake
    Anonymous (and commonplace)
  • 16. Jenny Holzer (1986)Protect me from what I want. From the Truisms series. Spectacolor electronic sign. Times Square, New York
  • 17. Why not study art history?
  • 18. Moving towards ‘flatness’
    Impure
  • 19. Clifford Still (1948) Clifford Still [?]
  • 20. Exhibit ‘Grace’
    Overworked
  • 21. Art History
    Privileges Painting (and Sculpture)
    Aesthetic (concerned with forms and styles)
    Great Artists
    Linear Development
    (Taste)
    Art History?
  • 22. Values
  • 23. “I can’t wait to get into a position to make really bad art and get away with it. At the moment if I did certain things people would look at me and say ‘Fuck off’. But after a while you can get away with things.”
    Damien Hirst 1990, quoted in (Stallabrass 1999, p.31)
  • 24. Fame ≠ Good Artist/ Designer/ Craftsperson
    ££££££ ≠ Good Art/ Design/ Craft
  • 25. “Hirst said that he only painted five spot paintings himself (there are about 300) because, ‘I couldn’t be fucking arsed doing it.’ He described his efforts as ’shite.’ ‘They’re shite compared to … the best person who ever painted spots for me was Rachel. She’s brilliant. Absolutely fucking brilliant. The best spot painting you can have by me is one painted by Rachel.’” Stephen Foster, Blog (2007)
  • 26. Question
    Values
  • 27. Canon: A list that champions key designers, craftspeople or artists, key texts and keys works over and above others.
  • 28. Ideology: An interpretative scheme made up of values that shapes the way we organise information.
  • 29. Institutions and ‘sharing’ values
  • 30. Discourse: the total some of (organised) information on a particular subject.
  • 31.
  • 32.
  • 33. Why not study art history?
  • 34. From left: Raine Hodgson (2009) [photo John McGregor]; Julie Chapman (2009) Ephemeral Pleasures [photo John McGregor]; Lottie Lindsay (2009) Hills Emit Hope [photo Tom Nolan].
  • 35.
  • 36.
  • 37.
  • 38. Farty?
  • 39.
  • 40. Why not art history?
    ECA students are creative in lots of different ways
    The world is full of visual representations
    Traditional Art History might not help your understanding of contemporary art
    Studying Art History (alone) wouldn’t prepare you for being contemporary practitioners
    Visual Cultural Studies couldinclude aspects of Art History, but as part of richer and broader field of study
  • 41. Why not study art history?
  • 42.
  • 43. First Published in 1957
  • 44.
  • 45.
  • 46.
  • 47. Eduardo Paolozzi, BUNK! (1971)
  • 48. Andy Warhol (1968) Brillo Box. First Exhibited in a series in the Stable Gallery, New York.
  • 49. Clockwise from top left: Caravaggio (1602-3) Doubting Thomas. Potsdam. Jackson Pollock (1952) Blue Poles number 11. Turner, JMW (1842) Streamer in a Snowstorm. Tate London. Diego Velazquez (1656) Las Meninas. Prado Madrid
  • 50. Andy Warhol (1968) Brillo Box. First Exhibited in a series in the Stable Gallery, New York.
  • 51. Marcel Duchamp (1917) Fountain
  • 52. Neither of these books contained a single reference to female artists when first published!!!
    First Published in 1961
    First Published in 1962
  • 53. Mary Beth Edelson (1972) Some Living American Women
  • 54. “The feminist critique of art history began by berating the discipline for its discriminatory exclusion of women artists. This was a necessary but limited tactic. For art history as a discourse actively produces its meanings by exclusion, repression and subordination...”
    (Pollock 1988, p.128)
  • 55.
  • 56. “The modern system of art is not an essence or a fate but something we have made. Art as we have generally understood it is a European invention barely two hundred years old.”
    (Larry Shiner 2001, p.3)
    Gustave Courbet (1855) The Painter’s Studio
  • 57. Lots of other important things... !!!
  • 58. Criticisms of Art History
    Narrowness of its subject matter
    Concentration on individual artists
    Restricted methods:
    Style
    Iconography
    Quality
    Canon
    Dating
    Biography
    Uniformity of Curricula
    Ignoring social context of art
    Inattention to theoretical change
    Fernire, Eric (ed.) (1995) Art History and Its Methods. London, Phaidon Press Ltd.
  • 59. To be continued ... by you!