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Artists Design Exhibitions
ARHA 251
Fall 2020
Section: 01  

This course explores the history and theory of exhibition-making as an artistic form. We examine key episodes in the history of artist-designed exhibitions, focusing on major works since the 1960s with an eye to foundational case studies in the early- to mid-20th century. Our discussions will generate a working typology of the form's various modes and functions, tracking how artist-designed exhibitions have variously served as spaces of public debate and agitation, propaganda spectacles, didactic displays, activist interventions, and sites of aesthetic experimentation. Exhibition design's material supports and conditions have been just as disparate: room-scale interiors, polyform spatial sequences, distributed multiples, and outdoor installations on city streets. Across each of these divergent formats, exhibitions are distinguished by their shared potential to create what Walter Benjamin once described as "simultaneous collective reception." As Benjamin's phrase suggests, exhibitions constitute publics, and in this course special attention will be paid to the types of publics--and the types of subjects--that specific exhibitions and exhibition strategies presuppose.

What can the history of exhibition design show us about the new "curatorial condition" of everyday life, in which data specialists now curate information, an artisan cheese shop curates its merchandise, and anyone with a social media account curates a presentation of self? Artists central to this history, and to which this course attends, include: El Lissitzky, Marcel Duchamp, Charles and Ray Eames, the Rosario Group, the Independent Group, Hélio Oiticica, Marcel Broodthaers, Louise Lawler, Group Material, Fred Wilson, Philippe Parreno, Mark Leckey, and Camille Henrot.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARHA-MN)(ARHA)(ARST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on JUL-15-2024
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