This course will both survey postmodern art in general, and will pursue a more focused approach to a dominant theme of such art, the sublime. In this respect, we will concentrate on the writing of Lyotard and other critical responses to Postmodernism. The course will investigate whether postmodern art should be considered fundamentally neo-Romantic, or whether it should stand as an independent, revolutionary category in itself. The relation of Modernism to Postmodernism will be examined, and in the context of diverse issues explored by artists including identity politics, gender, subjectivity, constructs of 'essence' and 'self', and the strategies of historic quotation and appropriation. Other topics to be examined include the political values and claims of postmodern art and the status of the art-producer as artist-theoretician. Media explored include painting, photo-media, video, performance art, design and fashion.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- question and evaluate the validity and stronghold of modernist painting and the 'heroic' male artist in the last three decades of the twentieth century;
- build knowledge of postmodernist art and think critically about the changing role, meaning and purpose of art in rising global cultures, which will result from engagement with diverse media ranging from photography, fashion, the moving image, collage and painting; and
- assess the rise of feminism in art practice, the appropriation of 'history' in imagery across media, the blurring of boundaries in disciplines, cultures and geographies, and the rising voice of minority groups excluded from the normalising definitions of art presented during the height of modernist era of the 1950s and early 1960s.
- 1,500 word tutorial paper (30) [LO 1,2,3]
- 2,500 word essay (50) [LO 1,2]
- Image test (20) [LO 2,3]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing. Contact hours may include visits to major art institutions in Canberra.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.