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Im Wintersemester 2022/23 fand an der Professur für Theorien der Künste und Medien folgende Lehrveranstaltung statt:

BA-Seminar, Sprache: Englisch

Introduction to Contemporary Art

What exactly is contemporary art? Despite its wide popularity and ever-increasing prominence in museums, galleries, biennials and fairs around the globe (as well as in the humanities), it has proven challenging to ultimately define and periodize the main procedures and preoccupations of aesthetic production since the later part of the twentieth century. Facing a panoply, abundance and diversity of practices emerging in vastly different geo-political contexts and areas, this English-language course sets out to offer an introduction to the history and theory of global contemporary art from the 1960s to the present. With a focus on developments in Western, Central and Eastern Europe as well as in North and South America, it presents a survey of salient artworks and concomitant critical discourses. Other than modern (or even modernist) art that until mid-century had based its claims for autonomy and disinterestedness (in political and social issues, for instance) on the notion of medium-specificity, i.e. the explicit engagement of each single with nothing but the material support and conditions of its genre (most notably in painting and sculpture), manifestations of contemporary art for the most part could be said to share an impulse toward both a programmatic fraying of the boundaries between traditional media and an expansion of the aesthetic object into spatial, architectural, social and discursive contexts. Contemporary art for these reasons, among others, tends to confronts viewers with experimental forms and engages with a rich array of ideas concerning spectatorship, medium, site and object, but also politics, economics and sociality.
The seminar will discuss the aesthetic repercussions and theoretical implications of this historical shift, covering a wide range of topics and strands in contemporary art history such as Neo-Dada, Minimalism and Pop Art, Conceptual Art, site-specificity and Institutional Critique, performance art, installation art, Appropriation Art, film, video and moving images, photography in art, feminist practices, queer aesthetics and identity politics, participatory and community-based art, relational aesthetics and Post-Internet art. At the same time the course will consist of close readings in art theory and history, featuring essays by preeminent scholars and writers, that will allow to further unlock and debate the complexities and potentials of contemporary art.