Critical Issues in Contemporary Art A

Subject FINA60013 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 6 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Southbank - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 9 x 2 hour lectures and 9 x 2 hour tutorials
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours.

Prerequisites: None
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:


Dr Laura Woodward


Coordinator email:

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject provides students with an introduction to critical argumentation in the visual arts by addressing significant issues and topics in the field of contemporary art. In particular, the course examines the relation between the critical concepts of vanguard modernism and postmodernist “trans-avantgarde” and “retro” cultural phenomena. The course also investigates the relation between postmodernism and the mass media as well as the emergence of new media and new technologies.

Learning Outcomes:

Throughout this semester students should learn to recognize and be able to critically interpret works of art characteristic of the period of the last half of the twentieth century in the dominance of post-modernism. They will discuss and critically debate key topics and text in class and present their study and conclusions through written assignments.


1. Written review mode of textual analysis (2000 words) due week 6 (40%)

2. 3000 word essay, due assessment period (60%).

Hurdle requirement: 80% attendance at both lectures and tutorials is required for the written components to be accepted for assessment

Prescribed Texts:

A class reader will be available for purchase.

Recommended Texts:

Further recommended reading as per the class reader.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

At the completion of the subject students should be able to:

• demonstrate capacities for artistic imagination, creativity, transformation and interpretation;

• demonstrate practical skills in respect of critical analysis, problem solving, report writing, and oral and written communication;

• demonstrate a flexible and innovative approach to the national and international challenges for the professional visual artist in the 21st century;

• work at various levels, both as an individual and as a team member, in a wide variety of visual artistic environments;

• demonstrate an open, independent and inquiring attitude towards contemporary cultural developments and new ideas;

• understand their relationship with and responsibility to their cultural environment and society.

Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Visual Art
Master of Directing for Performance

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