Art and critical theory: ways to think about art - vision and gaze

Course Dates: 22/04/20 - 20/05/20
Time: 18:00 - 20:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Explore the role of critical theory within the field of art history, and learn new ways of thinking about art by focusing on the topics of vision and gaze.


What is the course about?

‘Critical theory’ has had a profound impact on how we think and write about visual art, or even how we experience it, whether it would be a medieval panting or contemporary multi-media installation. In this 5-week course we will explore the role that critical theory plays in the field of art history. The course is an introduction to the theoretical writing about art, how we look and how we respond to it. We cover such key authors as John Berger, Hal Foster, Rosalind Kraus, Jonathan Crary, Norman Bryson, Martin Jay and Laura Mulvey. We will focus on the critique of vision and visuality, and theory of the gaze. The course can be taken either in conjunction with Art and Critical Theory: Feminism, Post-colonialism and the Death of the Artist or separately.

What will we cover?

• Introduction to critical theory, from the authors such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault to Hal Foster and Rosalind Kraus.
• The topics of a critique of vision and theories of the gaze.
• The relevance of the concepts developed within critical theory for understanding art.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Discuss at least three key thinkers and their contribution to critical theory.
• Demonstrate improved critical analysis skills and an ability to situate artworks in a broader theoretical context.
• Evaluate the role of theoretical texts for looking at and thinking about art.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is suitable for most levels. Entry-level knowledge of art history and/or philosophy will be an advantage; readiness to engage with theoretical texts is crucial.
You should be able to follow written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, handouts and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught with slide presentations, group discussions and short group exercises. There will be assigned weekly reading.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You might wish to bring a notebook. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You might also be interested in:
VB889 Art and Critical Theory: Feminism, Post-colonialism and the Death of the Artist
VB840 Women in Modern and Contemporary Art
VB864 Feminist in Art: Political Use of the Body
VB639 Focus on: the Body in 20th and 21st Century Art
VB636 Focus on: the Animal in 20th and 21st Century Art
VB886 Focus on: Video Art.

Tutor Biographies
Irina Chkhaidze

Irina Chkhaidze completed her PhD in Art History at University College London. She was trained as a lawyer prior to studying Liberal Arts and gaining an MA in Humanities in Germany. Irina has published articles on contemporary art, theories of posthumanism and animal-human relations. Her research interests span the effects of technological development on the representation of human and nonhuman bodies, second-order systems theory and cybernetics, and continental philosophy. Irina has taught gallery-based courses at UCL, covering 19th to 21st century art. Currently, she also lectures on philosophy at Leeds Beckett University.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: VB888

Wed, eve, 22 Apr - 20 May '20

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Full fee: £129.00
Senior fee: £129.00
Concession: £79.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.