HART3040 Breaking Art

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Design and Creative Arts
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
The loss and destruction of art objects raises fundamental questions about their functions and value for historians, curators, artists and public alike. From the iconoclastic breaking of images, to the slow decay of neglect, from external impacts of war and looting, to inherent vice (i.e. the intrinsic instability of objects made from perishable or mutable materials like chocolate or wax), this unit examines the impact of loss on the making, the conservation and the study of art. It covers religious, political and aesthetic concepts underpinning the destruction of objects; it explores the material life and memory of the object; and it investigates how artists, curators and scholars alike engage with the temporality of art.
Students are able to (1) actively participate in discussion and provoke debate; (2) employ skills in research, expression and critical thought including the use of library resources, essay writing and the critical use of primary and secondary materials; (3) synthesise visual analysis and the contextualisation of art works in broader historical and theoretical frameworks; (4) apply key theoretical approaches to contemporary practices of curation and conservation; and (5) understand historical and cultural contexts of the destruction and decay of artworks across a broad range of periods.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research proposal; (2) research essay; and (3) oral assessment. 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 Susanne Meurer
Unit rules
at least one Level 2 unit from the History of Art major sequence
HART2040 Breaking Art
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; seminars: 2 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • 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.