AHIS 325 SU01: Studies in Modern Art

This course focuses on Modernist and Avant-Garde artistic practice in the 20th century. Students will investigate artists and their diverse aesthetic strategies especially as they reflect the powerful political and cultural changes that transformed social and artistic tradition. https://www.connect.ecuad.ca/programs/specialtopic s

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AHIS 325 SU01, Studies in Modern Art


The frequency with which Samuel Beckett’s writings—from Proust (1931) to Catastrophe (1982), have dispersed throughout post-war contemporary art, by artists working in film, video, large-scale installations and socially-engaged work, is the starting point for this seminar. This course is guided by three questions: In what ways have Beckett’s texts emerged and dispersed within contemporary art? What is the theoretical significance of the appearance of Beckett’s texts within contemporary art practices? And, what do Beckett’s texts afford visual artists?

Through readings and discussions on artists including Bruce Nauman, Stan Douglas, Judith Barry, Atom Egoyan, Paul Chan, and Tania Bruguera, among others, we will explore what these artists learned from reading Beckett and how his writings are a catalyst through which to explore such topics as: subjectivity, technological obsolescence, and power. The syllabus will include writings by Beckett alongside art historical and theoretical texts.


6 credits of 200 level AHIS, DHIS, MHIS

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Date / Time Days Room Building
Jul 2-Aug 16
W F C3255 MAIN