General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Visual Arts in Contemporary Culture
Language English
Module lecturer prof. UAM dr hab. Marianna Michałowska
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position profesor UAM
Faculty Faculty of Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Semester 2021/2022 (summer)
Duration 30


Tuesday, 11.30-13.00,

hybrid (online and Campus Ogrody, Building AB, room 10)

Module aim (aims)

The course presents an influence of current interdisciplinary discourses on the role of an art in contemporary culture. The issues of representation of a human body, gender, race, memory and public space in visual arts are discussed.· The method of “cultural analyses” of particular artworks lets to reveal social and cultural meanings of art. The theoretical concepts are accompanied with projections of examples of artistic practice.·
The course aims to present main features of contemporary visual arts: photography, film video and installations in terms of interdisciplinary cultural theories.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

General knowledge about art and literature.


Week 1: Visual arts and visual culture in the humanistic discourse
Week 2: Zofia Kulik – images in a discourse of power and the subject
Week 3: Shirin Neshat vs. Jenny Holzer – feminisms and cultures
Week 4: Richard Prince – masculinity against popular culture
Week 5: Damien Hirst – the body in the box. Post-humanistic turn in visual art
Week 6: Eija-Liisa Ahtila – art as an everyday experience
Week 7: Jeff Wall – museum discourses in representing the Others
Week 8: Christian Boltanski – A work of memory at the threshold of individualand collective experience
Week 9: Krzysztof Wodiczko – subconscious of a public space
Week 10: Hubertus Siegert – a city as a palimpsest
Week 11: Thomas Struth – science in art
Week 12: Banksy and Peter Fuss – Media as a form of resistance
Week 13: Bill Viola – new media metaphysics
Week 14: Conclusion – what do pictures want?
Week 15: Students’ presentations

Reading list

Marianne Hirsch, Family Frames, Harvard Univ. Press 2002.
Andreas Huyssen, Present Pasts. Urban Palimpsests an the Politics of Memory, Stanford University Press, Stanford California, 2003
Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media, Leonardo Books, 2001
William J. Mitchell, The Reconfigured Eye, Visual Truth in the Post-Photographic Era, The MIT Press, 1994
Mitchell W.J.T., What Do Pictures Want? The Lives and Loves of Images, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London 2005
Overexposed, ed. Carol Squiers, NY Press, 2000.
Photography: A Critical Introduction, ed. Liz Wells, Routledge 2004.
Representation: cultural representation and signifying practices, ed. S.Hall, Sage Publications 1997.
Caroline Kohler Riessman, Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences, Sage, Publications 2008
John Tagg, The Burden of Representation, Palgrave Macmillan 1988
Visual culture, ed. Norman Bryson, Wesleyan Univ. Press, Middletown Conecticut 1994.
James E. Young, At Memory’s Edge. After-Images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture, Yale University Press, 2000