Art and critical theory: ways to think about art - vision and gaze
Time: 18:30 - 20:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now started
Course Code: VB888
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
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.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
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. Reading materials will be available online/digitally for download, not printed out for you.
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.
Irina Chkhaidze completed her PhD in Art History at University College London. Prior to this, she studied Liberal Arts and gained an MA in Humanities in Germany. Irina has published articles on contemporary art, theories of posthumanism and human-animal relations. She has taught gallery-based courses at UCL, covering 19th to 21st century art. Currently, Irina also lectures on philosophy and social theory at Leeds Beckett University, and teaches on Critical Studies programme at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.
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.