This class is designed for serious art majors (and those interested in
cultural production and criticism) who wish to pursue their own projects
through a close analysis and exploration of the human body, both formally
and conceptually. The use of all technically possible and theoretically
appropriate media is encouraged. We will organize a group exhibition (or
performance event, collaborative site-specific installation) of the class
work. We will have frequent group critiques and slide/video/film presentations
of historical and contemporary art that deals with issues surrounding
the body: sexuality, anatomy, identity, politics, memory, dress, race,
class, gender, psychoanalysis, and science. I will meet with each student
individually at least once during the semester. Feel free to sign up for
additional meetings. My office hours are Wednesdays 3:00-5:00 and the
sign up sheets are posted on the bulletin board across the hall from my
studio. You must sign up by Tuesday at 5 p.m. (If this time is impossible
for you, please schedule an alternative time to meet with me.)
Required readings are on reserve in The Sloan Art Library which we will
discuss in class. I urge you to keep a notebook for this class. Please
keep the reserve folder in order. If you plan to make copies of the readings,
please copy ALL of the readings at one time and return them to their proper
order. I have numbered the pages with a bold black marker from start to
FELIX GONZALEZ-TORRES, Nancy Spector/Guggenheim Museum,
THE HISTORY OF SEXUALITY, Volume I: An Introduction, Michel Foucault,
DORA, AN ANALYSIS OF A CASE OF HYSTERIA, Freud, are the three required
book purchases and they are available at The Internationalist Bookstore,
405 W. Franklin.
You will have a mid-term exam based on the readings and on in-class slide/video/film
presentations. * Mid-term exam - Tuesday, October 14 *
As a final exam you are required to respond to at least 2 of the readings
AND 2 artists with one of the following, due Thursday, November 25, Group
A, and December 2, Group X.:
1) a 4 page, typed, double-spaced paper. Good reproductions are required.
2) a 15 minute presentation. Good slides are required.
3) an extra visual project in response
You are strongly encouraged to bring in relevant visual and reading materials
to class, and to add to the optional reading section in the reserve folder.
We will see an exhibition, collection and/or performance/film as a group
and will have the opportunity of a discussion/critique with a visiting
artist. Your grade will be based on your participation in all group discussions,
attendance, your approach to and completion of all assignments, including
the exams, your close reading of all assigned readings, and your contribution
to the class as a whole. I grade each project, both exams, and every class
discussion individually. If you are concerned about your grade, it is
your responsibility to sign up for a meeting. If you must miss a class
due to an emergency, please notify me before class. More than two unexplained
absences will result in the lowering of your final grade by half a grade.
2 tardies = 1 absence. I take attendance at 2:20.
YOUR GRADE: Projects: 50%. Participation: 30%. Exams: 20%. (YOU WILL RECEIVE
AN F for each unfulfilled requirement.)
The structure of the class will be as follows: Tuesdays will be for demonstrations
and workshops, slide and video presentations, and reading discussions.
Thursdays will be for group critiques, individual meetings, and/or in-class
****1 WEEK: August 19, Tuesday: Check class list. Teacher/student introduction.
Syllabus. Discuss bell hooks Teaching to Transgress. Slides of previous
classes work + clothing slides. Teaching Assistant? Divide class into
Group A and Group X.
Discuss the following assignments from which you must choose 3 (and use
at least 3 different materials and/or processes) to complete throughout
1) Publication of a project in a local source: The Prism, DTH, The Independent...
2) Self-Portrait as a politically defined person.
3) Fetish Object / Body Surrogate
4) Collaborative Project with at least one other student in class.
5) Make a mold of a part, or of your whole body, and cast it multiple
times, using various and unexpected materials.
6) Installation, Site-Specific Project, Public, Earth Work
7) Make a body as if you were one of the authors of one of the readings.
8) Create a BODY MANIFESTO.
Discuss the following two required assignments (in addition to the above
Personal History: You must use your physical self, either through actual
performance, video, and/or photographic documentation. You may consider
showing home movies, giving a slide presentation, or a reading. You can
use any media that you wish as long as you interact with it. Try to limit
your presentation to 15 minutes maximum. This is not to be considered
a self-portrait, but as a project that represents, or explores, your entire
personal history. Group A: due Thursday, September 25 + Group X: due Thursday,
October 2. It is your responsibility to be prepared with the necessary
equipment, site, and materials.
Assignment #1: Visually transform the dress that was given to you in class.
Be creative and critically engaged. Due Thursday, August 28,
GROUP A + X. Reading Assignment #1: From TEARS OF EROS, by Georges Bataille,
Part One, The Beginning (The Birth of Eros), and from THE MAKING OF THE
MODERN BODY, by Thomas Laqueur, Orgasm, Generation, and the Politics of
Reproductive Biology, (on reserve), due for discussion, Tuesday, August
August 21, Thursday: Ana Mendieta video. Slides/discussion.
****2 WEEK, August 26, Tuesday: Discuss Bataille and Laqueur, Slides/Video.
Reading Assignment #2: THE HISTORY OF SEXUALITY, Part Three Scientia Sexualis,
from Part Four The Deployment of Sexuality : I. Objective + 3. Domain
+ 4. Periodization and Part Five Right of Death and Power over Life, Foucault.
Due for discussion September 2, Tuesday.
August 28, Thursday: Critique #1: transformed dresses. Brothers Quay video.
Please bring in an example of good art and an example of bad art for discussion
on Tuesday, September 2. You can bring in books, postcards, or color copies,
but please have an acceptable reproduction so that we can SEE the images.
Try to bring in both examples from the same period of art history and
of the same materials. Be prepared to explain/defend your taste.
****3 WEEK, September 2, Tuesday: Discuss Foucault. Discuss good and bad
art images. Reading Assignment #3: from SEXUAL ANARCHY, by Elaine Showalter
The Way Write Now: Syphilis and Aids (on reserve). Due for discussion,
Tuesday, September 9.
September 4, Thursday: 2:30 meet at Art Lab for welding demonstration.
****4 WEEK, September 9, Tuesday: Discuss Showalter. Degenerate Art video.
Reading Assignment #4: DORA: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria, Freud,
+ from In Doras Case/Freud-Hysteria-Feminism, Freuds Dora, Doras Hysteria
by Maria Ramas (on reserve), Due for discussion, Tuesday, September 16.
**** 5 WEEK, Tuesday, September 16: Discuss Freud + Ramas. Slides + Dorit
Cypits Video. Reading Assignment #5: FELIX GONZALEZ-TORRES, Chapter One,
Two, and Three, Nancy Spector/Guggenheim Museum. Due for discussion Tuesday,
****6 WEEK, Tuesday, September 23: Discuss Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Slides/Video.
Reading Assignment #6: FELIX GONZALEZ-TORRES, Chapters Four and Five.
Due for discussion Tuesday, September 30.
Thursday, September 25: Critique #2: GROUP A / PERSONAL HISTORY 7 WEEK,
Tuesday, September 30: Discuss Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Slides/Video. Reading
Assignment #7: From Art on My Mind, Being the Subject of Art by bell hooks
and from BLACK LOOKS/race and representation, by bell hooks, Introduction
- Revolutionary Attitude.
Due for discussion, Tuesday, October 7. Thursday, October 2: Critique
#2: GROUP X / PERSONAL HISTORY.
**** 8 WEEK, Tuesday, October 7: Discuss bell hooks. Slides/Video Reading
Assignment #8: from Eva Hesse: A Retrospective, Eva Hesse: A Girl Being
a Sculpture, by Anna C. Chave and from Intravenus/Hannah Wilke, Intra-Venus
and Hannah Wilkes Feminist Narcissism, by Amelia Jones, Exposing Taboos,
by Robert McKaskell, Life Drawings, by Donald Goddard, and DRIVING IMAGE/YAYOI
KUSAMA, Why Do I Create Art? and Fortress of Shooting Stars/Yayoi Kusama,
by Alexandra Munroe and On The Edge by Calvin Tomkins, and from LOUISE
BOURGEOIS, THE LOCUS OF MEMORY, WORKS 1982-1993, The Locus of Memory:
An Introduction to the work of Louise Bourgeois, Statements, Cell (You
Better Grow Up), The Red Rooms, on reserve, due Tuesday, after Fall Break,
Thursday, October 9: Hand out Mid-Term study sheets. Open/Lab day. INDIVIDUAL
MEETINGS: come prepared with project/theme ideas and questions.
**** 9 WEEK, Tuesday, October 14: MID-TERM FALL BREAK 10 WEEK, Tuesday,
October 21: Discuss Hesse, Wilke, Kusama, and Bourgeois. Slides/Video
- Inside the Visible. Discuss class project/installation?
Reading Assignment #9: from THE SADEIAN WOMAN AND THE IDEOLOGY OF PORNOGRAPHY,
by Angela Carter, Introductory Note and Chapter #1, Polemical Preface:
Pornography in the Service of Women on reserve, due for discussion Tuesday,
Thursday, October 23: CRITIQUE #3: GROUP A + X. 11 WEEK, October 28, Tuesday:
Discuss Angela Carter. Slides/Video.
Reading Assignment #10: This Sex Which Is Not One + When Our Lips Speak
Together + And the One Doesnt Stir Without the Other, by Luce Irigaray,
on reserve, due Tuesday, November 4.
Thursday, October 30: Open Day: Possibilities: Visiting Artist, Lab/in-class
work day, individual meetings, collaborative work, exhibition/gallery/museum
visit, film, discuss group show/project? 12 WEEK, November 4, Tuesday:
Discuss Irigaray. Slides/Videos. Reading Assignment #11: Tony Kushner's
Commencement Address, on reserve, Due for discussion, Tuesday, November
Thursday, November 6: OPEN DAY: Possibilities: Visiting Artist, Lab/in-class
work day, individual meetings, collaborative work, exhibition/gallery/museum
visit, film, discuss group show/project/performance? 13 WEEK, November
11, Tuesday: Discuss Kushner. COUPLE IN THE CAGE (Pena + Fusco) video
Reading Assignment #12: from THE NEW WORLD BORDER, Colonial Dreams/Post-Colonial
Nightmares + The Artist as Criminal, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, and from ENGLISH
IS BROKEN HERE, The Other History of Intercultural Performance, Coco Fusco
Thursday, November 13: CRITIQUE #4, Group X. 14 WEEK, November 18, Tuesday:
Discuss Pena + Fusco. Slides/Video.
THURSDAY, November 20: CRITIQUE #4, Group A.
**** 15 WEEK: Tuesday, November 25: FINAL EXAMS / PRESENTATIONS DUE, group
A THANKSGIVING BREAK
**** 16 WEEK: Tuesday, December 2: FINAL EXAM/PRESENTATIONS DUE, group
X Thursday, December 4: Open Work Day. FINAL EXAM: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 9,
4:00-6:00p.m./ Final CRITIQUE (#5): GROUP A + X: Please bring your final
required project AND your most resolved piece. You can bring a piece that
has been reworked since a critique of it. Please bring a paragraph (maximum)
explaining the grade you think you deserve.
REQUIRED BOOKS FOR BODY IMAGING AVAILABLE AT THE INTERNATIONALIST: -Felix
Gonzalez-Torres, Guggenheim Museum, Nancy Spector -Dora, A Case Study,
Freud -The History of Sexuality, Volume I: An Introduction, Michel Foucault
Suggested Books for Body Imaging: -In Dora's Case: Freud-Hysteria-Feminism,
editors Bernheimer + Kahane - Elective Affinities - Tate Gallery Liverpool
- The Tears of Eros and Story of the Eye, Georges Bataille - The Making
of the Modern Body, Gallagher and Laqueur - Sexual Anarchy, Elaine Showalter
- This Sex Which Is Not One, Irigaray - The Newly Born Woman, Three Steps
on the Ladder to Writing, Helene Cixous - Art on My Mind, Teaching to
Transgress, Black Looks, bell hooks - The Sadeian Woman and the Ideology
of Pornography, Angela Carter - Sense and Sensibility/Women Artists and
Minimalism in the Nineties, MOMA - What A Woman Can Do With A Camera,
Cultural Sniping/The Art of Transgression, - Putting Myself in the Picture,
Jo Spence - Post-Partum Document, Interim, Mary Kelly - Skin: Talking
About Sex, Class & Literature, Dorothy Allison - Ways of Seeing, John
Berger - Christian Boltanski, Lynn Gumpert - Blasted Allegories, Discourses:
Conversations in Postmodern Art and Culture, Out There: Marginalization
and Contemporary Cultures - New Museum + MIT Press - Uncontrollable Bodies,
Sappington + Stallings - English is Broken Here, Coco Fusco - The New
World Border,Guillermo Gomez-Pena - LAmour Fou, Rosalind Kraus Look at
ART IN AMERICA, ART FORUM, PARKETT, AFTER IMAGE, ART PAPERS, ART/TEXT,
and APERTURE regularly in the Sloan Art Library.