What is the course about?
Throughout history, art’s role within society has varied. Whether deliberately political or indirectly politicised, art has frequently been used to express and question political and social ideas. Many artists have used their work to participate in, or critique, the societies in which they live, and plenty of art works have been used to manipulate viewers in the form of propaganda. This course will explore art’s often uneasy relationship with politics, and asks whether art has a role to play within this area.
What will we cover?
- An overview of particular types of Political Art and the periods in which they were created.
- The work of particular Political Artists and theorists including Picasso, Kandinsky, Duchamp and Walter Benjamin.
- The future of Political Art and its relation to other disciplines, e.g. Film and Photography.
- Key theoretical approaches in the History of Art that emphasise political views
- The socio-economic and cultural context relevant to particular periods of Political Art.
- The relationship between the content of Political Art and its form.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify some key points in the history of Political Art.
- Engage with works of Political Art from both a theoretical and practical perspective.
- Demonstrate an awareness of how certain traditions in the History of Art inform how certain works of Political Art are produced and read.
- State the influence of the historical context on examples of political art.
- Engage with questions about the future of Political Art.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Some familiarity with art and its history is recommended but beginners would be welcome. Short reading materials will be provided.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Sessions will consist of a mixture of lecture, slide show, group discussions and group discussion. Recommended reading lists and lecture notes will be provided in relation to each topic. You may wish to visit galleries and exhibitions between classes to view works first hand.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No. However, you may wish to buy some of the books on the reading list given out in class and purchase some work in the Video Art tradition.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may wish to take some of our other courses in art history currently on offer.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details