Exhibition as Medium

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This course explores key moments in the history and theory of art exhibitions, from the experimental shows organized by Futurist and Dada artists in the early twentieth century to the present. Rather than focusing on the objects on display, as in an art history survey, we will discuss how the mode of display, the venue, the language, and other curatorial choices help shape the experience of an art exhibition. We will also explore the economy, politics, geography, and institutional framework of art shows as an integral part in the construction of meaning. Special emphasis will be placed on artists who, starting in the 1960s, have used exhibitions as their medium

Credits: 2.00

Course Code: HTA 342

Instructor(s): Raffaele Bedarida

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.