HART2222 Contemporary Art

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • Level 2 complementary unit in the Fine Arts major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Design and Creative Arts
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 additional unit in the Fine Arts second major sequence
  • Level 2 elective
This unit looks at some of the central debates over contemporary art, investigating both these debates and the art that it describes. Contemporary art is a Utopian term which aims to include all kinds of art produced around the world since the 1960s, though some art from this period has been more prominent than others. The unit goes on to investigate some of the power relationships at work within the institutional structures of contemporary art production and display, looking at some of the major actors (curators, museums, patrons and others) who have enabled artists to become successful in the late-twentieth century. The unit will give students the ability to recognise and discuss contemporary art, and to address the central contentions that contemporary art presents for art history. It assesses the relativity of the value systems that produce art history, and the relationship of art history's narratives to a period of art production that is defined as post-historical, postmodern and post-gender. It gives students a crucial grounding in the thinking, actors and relationships for art produced in our own time, understandings that graduates seeking employment in the art world today require.
Students are able to (1) identify historical and cultural contexts of contemporary art; (2) analyse some key theoretical and historical moments in the development of the discourses around contemporary art; (3) investigate some issues of display, dissemination and museology that relate to contemporary art; (4) synthesise works of contemporary art into broader art historical discourses; (5) make arguments relating to contemporary art; and (6) apply art historical methodologies in relation to works of contemporary art.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) short essay; (2) long essay; and (3) tutorial presentation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Christina Chau
Unit rules
HART1000 Great Moments in Art (formerly VISA1000)
HART1003 Ways of Seeing: Themes and Theories in Art
VISA2222 Contemporary Art
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week
Enrolled students can access unit material via the LMS (Learning Management System).
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.