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ARTH408: Contemporary Art

Unit 7: Contemporary Art in the Global World   The 21st century ushered the world of art into the global arena, where there is no single specific art center or one specific art technique to speak about. However, there are some pressing issues that are common and that most artists around the world are sharing, and this is what we will examine in this final unit.

Unit 7 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 15 hours to complete:

☐    Subunit 7.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 7.2: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 7.3: 4 hours

☐    Museum Visit: 2 hours

☐    Writing Assignment: 5 hours

Unit7 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Identify the reasons and issues associated with the global art world today. - Describe main characteristics of contemporary artistic practice today. - Define and discuss the way contemporary art addresses consumerism. - Explain the ways the role of performance art today is different from the one in the 1970s. - Describe and discuss the way non-Western artists address political issues today. - Identify what is the importance of contemporary art and artistic practice in the global world. - Discuss the role of humor and imagination in contemporary artistic practice today.

7.1 Contemporary Art, Artists, and the Global World: An Introduction.   - Reading: Tate Papers: Chin-tao Wu “Biennials without Borders?”; Jean Fisher: “The Other Story and the Past Imperfect”; Gilane Tawadros: “Reading and (Curating) from Right to Left”; and Nada Shabout: “Are Images Global?” Links: Tate Papers: Chin-Tao Wu: “Binomials without Borders” (PDF); Jean Fisher: “The Other Story and the Past Imperfect” (PDF); Gilane Tawadros: “Reading (and Curating) from Right to Left” (PDF); and Nada Shabout: “Are Images Global?” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please read these entire webpages, which address some
of the concerns that contemporary artists face today in the global
world, such as: Do an increasing number of temporary and biennial
exhibitions around the world give an equal opportunity in the same
way for artists coming from different parts of the world, especially
to those who have been marginalized and excluded for so long?  

 Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

7.2 Power of Humor   7.2.1 The Yes Men   - Reading: The Art Story: Anne Marie Butler: “Performance Art” Link: The Art Story: Anne Marie Butler: “Performance Art” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please read this entire webpage for a brief
introduction to a group of performance artists who use funny tactics
to raise social awareness about globalization.    

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The Yes Men: “Dow” Link: The Yes Men: “Dow” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read this entire webpage for an explanation of one of the group’s performances.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: The Yes Men: “Bhopal Legacy” Link: YouTube: The Yes Men: “Bhopal Legacy” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Please watch this entire video (approximately 6 minutes) to see one of the group’s performances.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.2.2 Reverend Billy (Bill Talen)   - Reading: The New York Times: Melena Ryzik: “Reverend Billy’s Revelation: A Role for Money” Link: The New York Times: Melena Ryzik: “Reverend Billy’s Revelation: A Role for Money” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read this entire webpage for information on
performance artist Bill Talen, also known as Reverend Billy, and his
work.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: Reverend Billy: “The Church of Earthalujah: Weekly Message” Link: Reverend Billy: “The Church of Earthalujah: Weekly Message” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read this entire webpage, ensuring to view the slide show and the YouTube video.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.3 Power of Imagination   7.3.1 Gabriel Orozco   - Reading: PBS: Art21: “Gabriel Orozco: Biography” Link: PBS: Art21: “Gabriel Orozco: Biography” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read this entire webpage for an introduction
to Gabriel Orozco.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: Tate Channel: “Gabriel Orozco: In Conversation” Link: Tate Gallery: “Gabriel Orozco: In Conversation” (Adobe Flash)

    Instructions: Please watch this entire video (approximately 92 minutes) for an interview with the Orozco.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.3.2 Doris Salcedo   - Reading: PBS: Art21: “Doris Salcedo: Biography” Link: PBS: Art21: “Doris Salcedo: Biography” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read this entire webpage for an introduction
to Doris Salcedo.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: PBS: Art21: “Compassion” Link: PBS: Art21: “Compassion” (Adobe Flash)

    Instructions: Please start watching this video at the 37th minute for an introduction to Salcedo’s work.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.3.3 William Kentridge   - Reading: UbuWeb: “William Kentridge” Link: UbuWeb: “William Kentridge” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read this entire webpage for an introduction
to William Kentridge.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: UbuWeb: “William Kentridge: ‘Stereoscope’” Link: UbuWeb: “William Kentridge: ‘Stereoscope’” (Adobe Flash)

    Instructions: Please read this entire webpage, including watching the entire video (approximately 8 minutes), for an introduction to Kentridge’s work.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Activity: Performance Now and Then. Instructions: Please write a one-page analysis comparing the work of the Reverend Billy and Vito Acconci. Use the material on performance art already covered in Unit 3 to examine similarities and differences between these two artists.

  • Activity: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA): “William Kentridge” Link: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA): “William Kentridge” (Adobe Flash)

    Instructions: Please click the “Launch” button to launch an interactive feature to view Kentridge’s work in a collection entitled Tide Table.  The exhibition will allow you to see the artist work, hear his thoughts on music he uses in his work, and get an overall very good sense of his artistic practices.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.