Biennales, Triennales and Documentas

Subject 107-550 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Total Time Commitment: 2 contact hours/week, 8 additional hours/week. Total of 10 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to the Masters of Art Curatorship, the postgraduate diploma, fourth-year honours in art history or the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours).
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Charles Green


Charles Green

Subject Overview: This subject examines the exhibition of contemporary art in international survey exhibitions since the 1960s, delineating the methods that curators and directors have tested in response to the needs of art museums, bureaucracies, artists and publics across a range of geographic settings. The subject will examine a sequence of exhibitions from Australia and overseas, including early, national pavilion-based Venice Biennales, the director-driven 1970s Documentas, the 1980s global circuit of Biennales (including Sydney's), the 1990s Asian biennales (including Brisbane's Asia-Pacific triennials), the late 1990s commercial art fairs (ARCO and the New York Armory Show). The subject considers these exhibitions' impact on contemporary art, as well as the roles of sponsorship, philanthropy and exhibition directors.
  • have an understanding of key issues in the contemporary art curatorship and exhibition of international art;
  • be able to conduct independent curatorial research using catalogued sources and bibliographical indexes;
  • be familiar with the key issues in the curatorial practice of international contemporary art survey exhibitions such as Biennales, Triennales and Documentas;
  • be equipped with the relevant skills and methods to critically examine the different curatorial models of contemporary survey exhibitions;
  • have an overview of the history of Biennales, Triennales and Documentas within recent international art;
  • understand the role of recurring contemporary art survey exhibitions in preparation for a career in the industry;
  • gain an understanding of the selection policies of curators;
  • be able to understand the major theoretical and curatorial debates on international survey exhibitions, and be able to relate these to exhibitions in Australia;
  • gain a knowledge of the changing nature of the installation and display of contemporary art.
Assessment: A research essay of 2500 words 50% (due during the semester) and a take-home examination of 2500 words 50% (due during the examination period). Students must attend at least 75% of all classes.
Prescribed Texts:
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Master of Art Curatorship (Coursework and Minor Thesis)
Master of Arts (International Studies)(Adv. Seminars and Shorter Thesis)
Master of Arts in Art History (Advancd Seminars and Shorter Thesis)
Master of International Studies
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Art History
Art History
Art History

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