Pictures are complicated because often what we see depends on who is looking –as an artist or as a spectator,– when, where, and why. Why do you think it was important for Beyonce and Jay Z to pose in front of the Mona Lisa in their video provocatively called Apeshit?
The aim of this course is to complicate our understanding of images around us, be they art or non-art. Students learn about and try out several approaches to discussing images. The course helps students to familiarize themselves with theoretical frameworks of art criticism and visual culture studies.
The course considers images presented in various media, such as painting, photography, light, comics, animation. Some of the images we discuss will be considered art, some not. Students will read texts and watch videos by leading contemporary art historians, visual culture experts, and design theoreticians. Each class is organized around a different question, students are required to collect images and reflect on them for each and every class.
Group discussion and interaction are very important for this course: we will share our ideas in the discussion forum on Canvas, we will read what the others think. This way, I hope that our Canvas page will become an inspiring interactive environment.
The module is suitable for students interested in visual culture, art and design, cultural studies, image making practices, entertainment, film, media, fashion and marketing industries , and the liberal arts more broadly.
Students are required to prepare for each and every class, post weekly reflections in the forum, and comment on the reflections of their peers. They will write two midterm position papers, and will make a zine as their final project.