This class is designed for serious
art majors who wish to pursue their
own projects through a close analysis and exploration of black and
white photographic processes, formally
and conceptually. The use of all technically
possible and theoretically appropriate media is encouraged. We
will organize a group exhibition
of the class work towards the end of the semester.
We will have several group critiques and many slide/video/film
presentations of historical and
contemporary photography and art that deal with
issues surrounding documentary and art photography, the body,
sexuality, dreams, identity, politics,
memory, narratives, race, class, gender,
and psychoanalysis. I will meet with each student individually on
Tuesday, February 25, during a
lab class. Feel free to sign up for additional
meetings. My undergraduate 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.
There will be required readings on reserve in The Sloan Art
Library which we will discuss in
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 readings with a bold black marker from start to finish. There
is also a suggested/recommended
reading list at the end of this syllabus. On
Photography, by Susan Sontag, Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes,
and Two or Three
Things I Know For Sure by Dorothy Allison are the required
book purchases and are available
at The Internationalist Bookstore, 405 W. Franklin.
7 copies of Carol Mavor's Pleasures Taken are also at the
Internationalist, for this class
as recommended reading.
You will have a mid-term exam based on the readings and on in-class slide/video/film presentations.
* Mid-term exam - Tuesday, March 4. *
As a final exam you are required to respond to at least two of the readings AND two photographer/artists with one of the following, due on Tuesday, April 15:
1) a 4 page, typed, double-spaced paper. Good reproductions are required.
2) a 15 minute presentation. Good slides are required.
3) a photographic project in response
You are strongly encouraged to bring in relevant visual and reading materials to class. We will see an exhibition, collection and/or performance/film as a group and will try to have a visiting artist come to one of the critiques. Your grade will be based on your participation in all group discussions, attendance, your approach to and completion of all
assignments, including 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.
Your grade: Projects: 50%. Participation: 30%. EXAMS 20%.
(YOU WILL RECEIVE AN F FOR ANY UNFULFILLED REQUIREMENTS.)
The structure of the class will be as follows: Tuesdays will be for slide/video/film presentations and reading discussions. Thursdays will be for technical demonstrations, group critiques, individual meetings and/or lab work.
** 1 WEEK: January 7,
Tuesday: Check class list. Teacher/class introduction.
Syllabus. Student Assistant to collect Lab Fee of $25. Facilities
Tour. Set up cleaning duty schedule. (Your cleaning week will
be figured into the participation
part of you grade). Discuss bell hooks' Teaching to Transgress/Education
as the Practice of Freedom. Slides of
other classes' work. Ana Mendieta video. Bring objects (opaque and transparent) to class on Thursday, January 9. Found slide project.
Discuss the following assignment ideas from which you must choose 3 (and use at least 3 different materials and/or processes) to complete throughout the semester for required assignments and critiques:
1) Self-Portrait as a politically defined person or as someone else.
2) Collaborative Project with at least one other student in class.
3) Photograph something every day of the semester. The point of this project is progression and resolving presentation (book? installation? slide projection?)
4) A Narrative
5) Installation, Site-Specific Project, Light, sound, projection, video, public poster, sticker, interactive project.
6) Photographic project as if you were one of the authors of one of the readings or one of the photographer/artists we will be looking at.
*Assignment #1: Visually transform your box of slides. You can scratch, burn, sandwich, and collage the slides for projection. You can print them, make color copies from them, invent a narrative, interact with them peformatively, immerse them in a sealed tank of water. In other words: be creative and experiment. This assignment is designed to loosen you up and challenge the historical attitude of the precious print. Due Tuesday, January 14.
9, Thursday: Bring and use your fantastic objects for Ray-o-grams.
Basic darkroom and chemical introduction.
*READING ASSIGNMENT #1: Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes. Due Tuesday, January 21. Bring one photographic example each of punctum and/vs. studium or eroticism and/vs. pornography to the Barthes discussion.
**2 WEEK: January 14,
Tuesday: Visually Transformed slide project due - critique
Assignment #1. Slides of Samaras, Starn twins, Cypits, Novak,
Skoglund, Close, Kiefer and others.
January 16, Thursday: Lab Day/Jim Baker, cameras, films, exposures, light meters.
*Assignment #2: Shoot at least one roll of black and white film. Bring to class Thursday, January 23. (Assignment #3: Process all film by Thursday, January 30.)
**3 WEEK: January 21,
Tuesday: Discuss Barthes and punctum and studium or
eroticism and pornography examples.
*READING ASSIGNMENT #2: From Art on My Mind, Being the Subject of Art by bell hooks and from Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Chapter 3: The Trace, by Nancy Spector. On Reserve. Due Tuesday, January 28 for discussion.
January 23, Thursday: Lab Day, Film Processing/Contact Sheets.
*Assignment #3: Process all film and do contact sheets by Thursday, January 30.
**4 WEEK: January 28,
Tuesday: Discuss hooks and Spector. Slides of Gonzalez-Torres,
Warhol, Kruger, Holzer, and others.
*Reading Assignment #3: From Post-Partum Document, Foreword by Lucy R. Lippard and Preface + Introduction by Mary Kelly, and from Cultural Sniping, The Art of Transgression, by Jo Spence, Essay #11, Questioning documentary practice? The sign as a site of struggle and Essay #14 Identity and cultural production: or deciding to become the subject of our own histories rather than the object of somebody elses. On Reserve. Due for discussion Tuesday, February 4.
January 30, Thursday: Lab Day, look at negatives, Printing from processed film. Assignment #4: Diptych, (2 photographs, each at least 11x14), Due Thursday, February 6.
**5 WEEK: Tuesday, February
4: Discuss Kelly and Spence. Slides of Kelly, Spence,
Wilke, Cameron, Sherman and others.
*Reading Assignment #4: Two or Three Things I Know For Sure, Dorothy Allison, Due Tuesday, February 11 for discussion Thursday, February 6: Critique Diptych (2 11x14 photographs) Assignment #4, bring negatives from which you printed diptych, lab day/Jim Baker, Experimental Printing Techniques (sandwiching negatives, solarization,
printing through materials, manipulating negatives, vignetting...)
*Assignment #5: experimental diptych using same negatives, Due Thursday, February 13.
**6 WEEK: Tuesday, February
11: Discuss Allison. Slides of Annette Messager,
Christian Boltanski, Sophie Calle, Duane Michals, Clarissa
Sligh, Pat Ward Williams, Carrie
Mae Weems, Dieter Appelt and others.
Videos by Tammy Rae Carland and Sadie Benning.
*Reading Assignment #5: Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema by Laura Mulvey, When the Woman Looks by Linda Williams, and The Beauty and The Beast in PEEPING TOM as Revealed by Linda Williams When the Woman
Looks by elin slavick, On Reserve. Due Tuesday, February 18 for discussion of film screening of PEEPING TOM
Thursday, February 13: Critique Assignment #5, experimental diptych, Lab day, xerox and laser transfers, spot toning
**7 WEEK: Tuesday, February
18: Discuss Mulvey, Williams and Slavick after screening
of PEEPING TOM.
*Reading Assignment #6: from Beyond Recognition, William Wegman's Psychoanalytic Vaudeville, by Craig Owens. On Reserve. Due for discussion Tuesday, March 4.
Thursday, February 20: Lab Day, Toning Techniques
**8 WEEK: Tuesday, February
25: Individual Meetings. Lab Day.
Thursday, February 27: Lab Day/ Wolf Bolz - cyanotype and van dyck
**9 WEEK: Tuesday, March
4: Discuss Owens. Slides/Video of Wegman. Look at
zines. Discuss zine interest, possibilities, production. Mid-Term Exam based on slide comparisons and readings.
*Reading Assignment #7: On Photography, by Susan Sontag, Due for discussion Tuesday, March 18, after spring break
Wednesday, March 5, Kate Moran, PHOTOGRAPHER/ARTIST, 5:30 p.m., HAC 121, M.F.A. from U.N.C. Chapel Hill, Hanes Visiting Artist Lecture
Thursday, March 6: Lab Day, flashes, lights for slides of work and studio/portrait work, copy stand
S P R I N G
B R E A K
(think about zines and read Sontag)
**10 WEEK: Tuesday, March
18: Discuss Susan Sontag. Slides of Arbus, Opie, Carland,
Goldin, and others. Discuss zine possibilities/production.
*Reading Assignment #8: From Pleasures Taken, by Carol Mavor,
Introduction Pictures and Conversations, Chapter #1 Dream-Rushes: Lewis Carroll's Photographs of Little Girls, and conclusion After Time. On Reserve. 7 copies at Internationalist Bookstore as recommended reading,
Due for discussion Tuesday, March 25.
Thursday, March 20: Critique Assignment #6, first of 3 required individual projects. Make sure that your photographs are FINISHED and exhibition-ready.
MARCH 23 - MAY 4, ACKLAND
MUSEUM, RALPH EUGENE MEATYARD AND VAL TELBERG
**11 WEEK: March 25,
Tuesday: Discuss Carol Mavor. Slides of Carroll, Mann,
Sturges, Robinson, Cameron and others. zine production.
*Reading Assignment #9: from LAmour Fou, Photography and Surrealism, by Rosalind Krauss, Photography in the Service of Surrealism, and short essays on Meatyard and Telberg. On Reserve. Due for discussion
Tuesday, April 1
Thursday, March 27: Open Lab Day, zine production/completion.
**12 WEEK: April 1, Tuesday:
Visit Meatyard and Telberg Exhibitions at the Ackland
Museum. Discuss Krauss, Meatyard, and Telberg. Slides of Man Ray,
Cahun, Ubac, Witkin, and surrealist
*Reading Assignment #10: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, by Walter Benjamin, and from Cut With the Kitchen Knife, by Maud Lavin, Portraits, Dancers, & Coquettes and a few words on photomontage (by Hannah Hoch). On Reserve. Due for discussion Tuesday, April 15
Thursday, April 3: Lab Day. Matting and presentation
**13 WEEK: April 8, Tuesday:
Critique Assignment #7, 2nd of required 3 individual
projects. zine completion.
Thursday, April 10: Open Lab Day.
**14 WEEK: April 15,
Tuesday: Discuss Benjamin, Lavin, and Hoch. Slides of Hoch,
Heartfield, Hausmann, Ernst, Bellmer, and dada others.
FINAL EXAMS DUE - (paper, presentation, or photo project)
THURSDAY, APRIL 17: Critique Assignment #8, last of 3 required individual projects. Discuss class exhibition (in classroom, hallway cases, public spaces??? combine with final critique?). COURSE EVALUATIONS.
**15 WEEK: READING WEEK,
**16 WEEK: Tuesday, April
29: LAST DAY OF CLASS. FINAL CRITIQUE: Please bring
either 1) what you consider to be your two most resolved
photographic projects or 2) what
you consider to be your 10 best
photographs. You can bring pieces that have been reworked since a critique of them. Course Evaluations.
Required Photography Book
List, available at the Internationalist:
Camera Lucida - Roland Barthes
Two or Three Things I Know for Sure - Dorothy Allison
On Photography - Susan Sontag
Suggested Photography Book List:
Basic Photography and Beyond Basic Photography - Henry Horenstein
Breaking the Rules - Bea Nettles
Darkroom Dynamics - Jim Stone
-Arresting Images - Steven Dubin
-What A Woman Can Do With a Camera, Cultural Sniping, The Art of Transgression, and Putting Myself in the Picture - Jo Spence
-Pleasures Taken, Performances of Sexuality and Loss in Victorian Photographs - Carol Mavor
-Teaching to Transgress and Art on my Mind - bell hooks
-Felix Gonzalez-Torres - Nancy Spector
-Post-Partum Document and Interim - Mary Kelly
-LAmour Fou, Photography and Surrealism - Rosalind Krauss
-Skin: Talking About Sex, Class & Literature - Dorothy Allison
-Ways of Seeing - John Berger
-World History of Photography - Rosenblum
-Beyond recognition: Representation, Power, and Culture - Craig Owens
-The Critical Image - edited by Carol Squiers
-Photography at the Dock - Abigail Solomon-Godeau
-Photography and Art and Mike and Doug Starn - Andy Grundberg
-Cut With the Kitchen Knife: the Weimar Photomontages of Hannah Hoch- Maud Lavin
-The Americans, Moving Out, The Lines of My Hand - Robert Frank
-Portraits and Dreams - Wendy Ewald
-On the Art of Fixing a Shadow - The Art Institute of Chicago
-E.J. Bellocq: Storyville Portraits and Mirrors and Windows - John Szarkowski
-Looking at Death - Barbara Norfleet
-The Interrupted Life - New Museum
-Photography Speaks - Aperture/The Chrysler Museum
-On Photography - Edward Weston
-Let Us Now Praise Famous Men - Walker Evans + James Agee
-Let Us Now Praise Famous Women - Andrea Fisher
-Art After Modernism: Rethinking Representation - Brian Wallis
-A Way of Seeing - Helen Levitt + James Agee
-Exiles: Josef Koudelka - Czeslaw Milosz
-Vanishing Presence - Walker Art Center
-Magazine Work and Monograph - Diane Arbus
-Christian Boltanski - Lynn Gumpert
-Effluvia and Enfleshings - Helen Chadwick
-Annette Messager - Conkleton + Eliel
-Blasted Allegories, Discourses: Conversations in Postmodern Art and Culture, and Out There:Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures - New Museum + MIT Press