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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Undergraduate Course: Self-Conscious State: Art in Scotland since 1990 (HIAR10118)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course focuses on the complex history of art in Scotland since 1990, looking at the work of the artists who have achieved international acclaim in that time, as well as the institutions which have supported their art and the debates, theories, and controversies that have framed and interpreted it. We will look at key moments in the development of contemporary art in Scotland, ranging from Glasgow¿s role as European ¿Capital of Culture¿ in 1990 to Martin Boyce¿s success in the 2011 Turner Prize. The course will consider the exhibition programmes of publicly funded galleries such as the Third Eye Centre (later the Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow) and Fruitmarket, the vital role played by commercial galleries such as The Modern Institute, Doggerfisher, Sorcha Dallas, and Mary Mary, and the crucial role played by artist-run initiatives such as Transmission and Collective. Central to the course is detailed study of the work of key artists, including: Claire Barclay, Karla Black, Ross Birrell and David Harding, Christine Borland, Martin Boyce, Nathan Coley, Jacqueline Donachie, Scott Myles, Ross Sinclair, Lucy Skaer, Simon Starling, Hayley Tompkins, Cathy Wilkes, Richard Wright (amongst many others). The disparate positions these artists have staked out in their individual practices will be related to the broader issues facing contemporary artists in what Rosalind Krauss has termed ¿the age of the post-medium condition¿.
Course description Scotland has its own pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Scottish artists have achieved extraordinary success in the Turner Prize in recent years, and world-famous curators refer to the 'Glasgow miracle' to describe the thriving artistic scene in that city. But aside from these markers of success, what is of art historical interest or importance in the work produced by artists in Scotland over the past 20 years? What relationship does that work have to the key tenets of modernism and postmodernism? And what histories and theories help us to interpret and critically evaluate the state of contemporary art in Scotland? Rather than addressing these questions by seeking to identify the characteristics of a particularly ¿Scottish¿ art, this course relates the work of selected artists to influential movements and important debates in contemporary art seen in an international and trans-historical context.

1) ¿Capital of Culture / Culture of Capital¿: setting the scene circa 1990

2) ¿Darkness and Light¿: artists reworking conceptual art

3) ¿I Love Real Life¿: relational practices and political positions

4) ¿From Life¿: art as research and the medical humanities

5) ¿Crooked Modernisms¿: loving the overlooked in modernist art and design

6) ¿Exploded Vehicle¿: Painting after the ¿last exit¿

7) ¿Non Verbal¿: Installation and new sculptural languages

8) ¿Solid Meanings, Struggling Meanings¿: discursive practices

9) ¿What You See is Where You¿re At¿: film and video

10) ¿Bad History¿: Appropriation and living on after postmodernism

11) Review session: how to write the history of contemporary art?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. 1) Have a detailed understanding of the practices and key works of a range of artists who have made significant contributions to art in Scotland since 1990.
  2. 2) Be able to critically evaluate the practices of these artists in relation to relevant critical and theoretical positions in debates on contemporary art.
  3. 3) Be able to use a sophisticated critical vocabulary to discuss the relationships of recent Scottish art to relevant precursors in 20th-century modernist and postmodernist art.
Reading List
Nicholas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics, (Les Presse du Reel, 1998)

Ross Birrell and Alec Finlay, Justified Sinners: An Archaeology of Scottish Counter-Culture 1960-2000, (Polygon, 2002)

Christine Borland, Preserves, (Edinburgh: Fruitmarket Gallery, 2006)

Jason Bowman et al, Scotland and Venice, (Scottish Arts Council, 2007)

Will Bradley, Polly Staple et al, Joanne Tatham and Tom O¿Sullivan: A Charming Meaning, A Solid Meaning, a Struggling Meaning, (DuMont Buchverlag, 2010)

Katrina M. Brown, Douglas Gordon, (London: Tate, 2004)

John Calcutt and Maria Lind, Here and Now: Scottish Art 1990-2001, (Dundee: Dundee Contemporary Arts, 2001).

Hal Foster, Design and Crime, (London: Verso, 2002)

David Harding and Pavel Buchler (eds), Decadent, (Glasgow: The Foulis Press, 1997)

Grant Kester, Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art, (University of California Press, 2004)

Rosalind Krauss, A Voyage on the North Sea: Art in the Age of the Post-Medium Condition, (London: Thames & Hudson, 2000)

Rosalind Krauss, Under Blue Cup, (Boston: MIT Press, 2011)

Sarah Lowndes, Social Sculpture: The Rise of the Glasgow Art Scene (Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2010)

Anna McLaughlan and Clare Stephenson (eds), Transmission, (London, Black Dog, 2001)

Neil Mulholland, The Cultural Devolution: Art in Britain in the Late Twentieth Century, (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003)

Craig Richardson, Scottish Art since 1960: Historical Reflections and Contemporary Overviews, (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011)

Naomi Siderfin, Duncan McCorquadale, Julian Stallabrass (eds), Occupational Hazard: critical writing on recent British art, (London: Black Dog Publishing, 1998)

Simon Starling et al, Simon Starling: Recent History, (Gestion Cultural y Comunicacion, 2011)

Jan Verwoert, Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want, (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2010)

Nicola White (ed.) New Art in Scotland, (Glasgow: Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, 1994)

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Dominic Paterson
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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