Option 1—Curate a Virtual Exhibition about the active role of visual culture on ArtSteps (Links to an external site.). If you could bring together any particular works from this class or that you feel are closely related to the themes we have worked on, what would you present to the public? Your exhibition should feature several rooms and you may include new media and performance in addition to other media such as painting, sculpture, photography or material culture.
Option 2: Inspired by the work of Fred Wilson (and others who practice institutional critique), curate a decolonial or decolonized exhibition on ArtSteps (Links to an external site.). Your group should brainstorm about a museum that needs rethinking in decolonial terms. Carefully research the decolonizing of museums (starting with the optional readings for week 12). You will need to carefully investigate the current exhibitions and collections of the museum you have chosen using online resources. Your decolonized exhibition should feature several rooms that may bring together traditional art objects (from the museum’s collection), new media and performance. You may choose to introduce new objects into your exhibition or recontextualize the objects that the museum already owns or a combination of these strategies.
Option 3 — Individual Paper: You may take one of the above themes as the starting point for a well-researched paper that uses at least 6 of readings (including optional readings) for weeks 10-12 (c. 2000 words). This should not repeat your last journal, but it may use ideas from it as a starting point. You will meet with me in an individual conference on May 2 or 4 to review your paper theme, a working outline and bibliography. Your preparation for this meeting will factor into your grade for the final project.
Week 10 – 12 reading
Week 10 –
Saskia Beranek, “Iconoclasm in the Netherlands in the Sixteenth Century,” in Smarthistory, June 30, 2020, accessed January 31, 2021, https://smarthistory.org/iconoclasm-in-the-netherlands-in-the-sixteenth-century/ (Links to an external site.). (Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.)Sarah Beetham: Confederate Monuments: S (Links to an external site.)outhern Heritage or Southern Art?
Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio “Monuments that Erase Histor (Links to an external site.)y”
Monument Lab Website (Links to an external site.)
Rebecca Solnit “The Monument Wars” Harper’s, Jan. 2017
Hugh Gusterson “Reconsidering How We Honor Those Lost to War (Links to an external site.)” 6 Jul 2017
“Edward Colston statue replaced (Links to an external site.) by sculpture of Black Lives Matter protester Jen Reid”
Iconoclasm (Links to an external site.) (Khan Academy) (This defines the term and gives some historical background for it)
for reference: The Monuments Must Fall (Links to an external site.) Syllabus.
Bojan Maric “What Is Street Art (Links to an external site.) and How Can We Define It?” Widewalls, 2014
Mirzoeff Ch. 7 “Changing the World” 249-281 and “Visual Activism” 283-293
Sturken and Cartwright, Chapter 10 “The Global Flow of Visual Culture” 379-381, 402-406.
T. K. Smith “Toward a Monumental Black Body (Links to an external site.)” Art Papers, 2020
Ted talk by street artist JR (Links to an external site.) (counts toward class time)
Matthew Taylor “The Evolution of Extinction Rebellion, (Links to an external site.) The Guardian, August 2020.
Molly Sauter “The Visual Life of Occupy Wall Street (Links to an external site.)” MIT Comparative Media, 2012.
Barry McGee & Margaret Kilgallen in “Place (Links to an external site.)” Art in the Twenty-First Century (Links to an external site.) Se (Links to an external site.)ason 1 (Links to an external site.) September 21, 2001.
Ganz, Nicholas. Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents. New York: Abrams, 2006.
Interview with street artist Swoon (Links to an external site.) in 2005.
Lisa Hix, “United States of Protest: A Citizen’s Guide to 250 Years of Resistance (Links to an external site.)” Collector’s Weekly 2018
Street Artist JR: “Use Art to Change the World.” TED talk. (Links to an external site.)
Nick Mirzoeff (Links to an external site.), “The Historical Failure and Revolutionary Potential of Taking a Knee” Hyperallergic, October 5, 2017 (Links to an external site.)
Art21, “Krzysztof Wodiczko, Monument,” in Smarthistory, 2021, https://smarthistory.org/krzysztof-wodiczko-monument/ (Links to an external site.).
Demos, “”Between Rebe downloadl Creativity downloadand Reification: For and Against Visual Activism” Journal of visual culture Vol 15(1): 85 –102.
Jeremy Bendik-Keymer “Reconsidering the Aesthetics of Protest” (Links to an external site.) Hyperallergic 2017
Martha Rosler, “The Artistic Mode of Revolution” from ed. Peter Weibel, Global Activism: Art and Conflict in the 21st Century, 2014.
The Aesthetics of Global Protest (Links to an external site.)
Required reading for this week Sturken and Cartwright: “The Global Museum” 406-415.
Siddhartha Mitter “How a Museum Show Honoring Breonna Taylor Is Trying to ‘Get It Righ (Links to an external site.)t’” New York Times, March 11, 2021
Senta German, “Repatriating artworks,” (Links to an external site.) in Smarthistory,
Elizabeth Marlowe, “Seizure of Looted Antiquities Illuminates What Museums Want Hidden (Links to an external site.),” in Smarthistory, June 28, 2020, accessed January 31, 2021,
You will also pick two of the folllowing to write about in your journals or to use for the final project:
“Decolonisation: we aren’t going to save you (Links to an external site.)” Puawai Cairns, Head of the taonga Māori collection, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Cody Delistraty, “The Fraught Future of the Ethnographic Museum (Links to an external site.)” Frieze, 2018
Adam Hochschild, ” The Fight to Decolonize the Museum” (Links to an external site.) The Atlantic, Jan/Feb 2020
Allison Young, “Yinka Shonibare, The Swing (After Fragonard),” in Smarthistory, February 27, 2021, https://smarthistory.org/yinka-shonibare-the-swing-after-fragonard-5/ (Links to an external site.).
Carol Duncan “The Art Museum as Ritual” in Preziosi, Donald. The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Khan Academy: Tools for understanding museums.
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