The Artist's Body

Subject AHIS40007 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2016.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment:



Admission to the postgraduate certificate, diploma or fourth year honours in art history; the Master of Art Curatorship; Master of Arts & Cultural Management; or fourth year honours in gender studies.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Charles Green

Subject Overview:

This subject focuses on contemporary artists' redefinitions of the body and work and, by extension, redefinitions of the artist and the artwork. Students will be introduced to contemporary theories of the body, artistic identity, and artistic authorship through an analysis of changing uses of the artist's body. Students will encounter art from the late 1960s to the present, and trace the transition from conceptual art to earth art, body art, and performance art. The subject will engage with issues such as corporate collectives, artist families, the creation of third authors and body doubles, and the redefinition of the erotic. On completion of the subject students should have a knowledge of the theories of artistic identity and artistic production underlying visual art from conceptualism to the present, and be able to locate artistic and critical practices from the period within specific social, historical and theoretical contexts.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject will:

  • understand the theories of artistic identity and artistic production underlying visual art from conceptualism onwards;
  • be able to identify and locate artistic and critical practices from the period within their specific social, historical and theoretical contexts; and
  • be able to conduct independent research using catalogued sources and bibliographical indexes.

A 2500 word class paper 50% (due during the semester), and a 2500 word take-home examination 50% (due in the examination period). Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% (or 10 out of 12) classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Any student who fails to meet this hurdle without valid reason will not be eligible to pass the subject. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Essays submitted after the due date without an extension will be penalised 2% per day. Essays submitted after two weeks of the assessment due date without a formally approved application for special consideration or an extension will only be marked on a pass/fail basis if accepted.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • be able to research through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays;
  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;
  • be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision; and
  • be able to participate in team work through involvement in syndicate groups and group discussions.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Art Curatorship
150 Point Master of Art Curatorship
200 Point Master of Art Curatorship
200 points Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)
Art History
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) - Art History
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) - Gender Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - Art History
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - Gender Studies
PC-ARTS Art History
PC-ARTS Gender Studies
PD-ARTS Art History
PD-ARTS Gender Studies

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