Feminism in art: political use of the body

Course Dates: 21/04/20 - 19/05/20
Time: 13:15 - 15:15
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Discover prominent modern and contemporary artists whose work can be broadly linked to the feminist project. We focus on the artistic use of body imagery within its respective political and social contexts.


What is the course about?

In this 5-session course we focus on the modern and contemporary artists whose work is directly engaged with feminist politics and thought, or shares some of the common concerns more implicitly. Feminist historians and theorists have emphasized that body imagery is central in constructing one’s identity. Thus, we will look at the representation of body and body-related practices starting with the selected works by women avant-garde artists moving to body and performance art of the 1960s and 1970s, and feminist art movement encompassing diverse media from painting, sculpture and photography to video and installation. We will finish by looking at most recent artists dealing with the impact of technological development on women’s bodies and its implications for feminism. The course is structured around lectures and class discussions exploring how material changes and transformations of our ideas are reflected in the examined artworks, and it includes one guided gallery visit.
Warning: This course contains some visual material that is explicit and may be considered disturbing.

What will we cover?

• Representation or artistic usage of body/body-related practice (painting, sculpture, photography, installation, performance, and moving image) from the avant-garde movements through to the performance art of 1960s and 1970s to most recent art.
• A range of political and philosophical issues of concern within feminism.
• Transformation of our understanding of bodily limits, especially as depicted by women artists, and other relevant implications of technological development.

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

• Demonstrate improved visual analysis skills and an ability to situate the key works of art discussed in a broader cultural context.
• Describe at least two works by women avant-garde artists, two works by performance artists and two by most recent artists that can be linked to the feminist project.
• Evaluate the political and cultural relevance of artworks dealing with the representation of the body or body-related practices.

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

This course is suitable for all levels.
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.
Warning: This course contains some visual material that is explicit and may be considered disturbing.

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

You will be taught with slide presentations, group discussions, short group exercises and a guided gallery visit.

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

There are no other costs, but you are advised to bring a notebook to the classes. You may like to purchase some of the books suggested on handouts during the course.
Please note we are unable to guarantee stools in an art gallery that we will visit so you may have to stand and to walk between the artworks. The gallery visit will be free.

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

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

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: VB864

Tue, day, 21 Apr - 19 May '20

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Full fee: £129.00
Senior fee: £103.00
Concession: £79.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions? humanities@citylit.ac.uk
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.