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Artists Design Exhibitions
ARHA 251
Fall 2019 not offered

This course explores the history and theory of exhibition making as an artistic practice, focusing on major works since the 1960s as well as foundational projects of the early to mid-20th century. Our discussions will generate a working typology, tracking how artist-designed exhibitions have variously served as spaces of public debate and agitation, propaganda spectacles, didactic displays, and sites of aesthetic experimentation. Exhibition design's material supports have been just as disparate: room-scale interiors, multiform spatial sequences, distributed multiples, and outdoor installations on city streets. Across each of these divergent modes, 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 exhibition strategies presuppose.

A key concern will be to situate exhibition design relative to other artistic techniques, including installation art, institutional critique, and photomontage. 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, and Camille Henrot.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARHA-MN)(ARHA)(ARST)

Last Updated on OCT-23-2021
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