Locating Art

Module code: MU7002

We begin our journey by locating a common understanding of the various ways art is defined, negotiated and deployed in different parts of the world. You'll deconstruct different kinds of artwork, and the performances of those great art museums that remain so central to its shaping. By doing this you'll gain a common understanding of this field of study, and push back against narrow interpretations of what art museums are and why governments support their creation.

In parallel with our disassembly of the architecture and curatorial performances of great historic institutions, you'll also begin to explore the alternative reality of contemporary art and the so-called ‘global contemporary’. Here, our attention is drawn to ephemeral performances and other art platforms, venues and sites that represent institutions engaged in creating and negotiating art now. You'll take a particular interest in the form of the contemporary art museum, and the biennial as a site of value creation.

You'll also explore how the museum and the contemporary art space exist within art culture as something quite different from the heritage institution.

Topics covered

  • Art museums and art history
  • Curatorial orthodoxies and curationism
  • National galleries and national art
  • Exhibitions that shaped art history
  • Art culture
  • Biennials and networks
  • Non-collecting contemporary art platforms
  • Art museums in the digital world
Back to top