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

Postgraduate Course: The Shape of Time: Temporality After Modernism (HIAR11088)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the treatment of time in a range of object-based artistic practices from the latter half of the twentieth century, addressing the decentered understandings of time that emerged concurrently with the so-called dematerialisation of the art object in the mid-to-late 1960s. Recognising that objects exist in time as well as in space, we will examine themes of duration, presence, movement, ephemerality, and futurity. We will consider the interest of mid-to-late twentieth-century artists in practices which respond to earlier avant-garde concerns with originality, newness, nowness, presentness, progress, and work that makes use of processes of seriality, repetition and reproduction. The course focuses at sculpture and installation practices, but also considers the treatment of time in the interconnected practices of performance, painting, music and artists¿ moving image, up to the development of self-consciously archival work in the 1990s and 2000s. We will look at work by an international range of artists, including Robert Smithson, Allan Kaprow, Félix Gonzales-Torres, David Medalla, Cildo Meireles, Rachel Whiteread, Susan Hiller and Mike Nelson. Informed by the non-linear approaches to the telling of time adopted by many of these artists, the course will unfold in a broadly chronological way, but challenge the hegemony of this kind of teleological history, encouraging students to continually think about work from the 1960s to the present in relation to these theories of time.
Course description Week 1. Introduction: Theories of Time and Space
Week 2. Time and Chance: Happenings and Fluxus
Week 3. Presentness is Grace: Minimalism and Time
Week 4. Seriality and Repetition: Post-Minimalism and Anti-Form
Week 5. Circulation and Participation
Week 6. Auto-Destruct: Ephemerality and Impermanence
Week 7. Ruins in Reverse: Entropy and Earthworks
Week 8. The Architecture of Time: Gordon Matta-Clark and Anarchitecture
Week 9. Time, Cast: Permanence and Monumentality
Week 10. Archive Fever
Week 11. The Past Imperfect: Recreation, Anachronism and Loss
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam (0%), Coursework (100%), Practical Exam (0%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A detailed knowledge of key practices in sculpture and installation work from the 1960s to the present

  2. A clear understanding of key philosophical theories of time in the late twentieth-century
  3. Strong skills in close visual analysis and the ability to synthesise visual and theoretical analysis of theories of time and temporality, both orally and in written work
  4. Confidence in undertaking individual research and in presenting original research to others
Reading List
George Kubler, The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things [1962] (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2008)
Pamela M. Lee, Chronophobia: On Time in the Art of the 1960s (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006)
Lucy Lippard, Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object, (New York, NY: Praegar, 1973)
Briony Fer, The Infinite Line: Re-making art after modernism (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2005)
Alex Potts, The Sculptural Imagination: Figurative, Modernist, Minimalist (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000)
Richard Meyer, What Was Contemporary Art? (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013)
Jack Flam, ed., Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996)
Rosalind Krauss, The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986)
Jacques Derrida, trans. Eric Prenowitz, Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression (University of Chicago Press, 1996)
Frederic Jameson, A Singular Modernity: Essay on the Ontology of the Present (New York, 2002)
James Meyer, Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties (New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2001)
ed. Gregory Battcock, Minimal Art: a Critical Anthology (California, 1995)
Richard J. Williams, After Modern Sculpture (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000)
Thomas Crow, Modern Art in the Common Culture (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1996)
Mike Kelley, Minor Histories: Statements, Conversations, Proposals (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004)
Benjamin Buchloh, Neo-Avant-garde and Culture Industry (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000)
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, trans. by Colin Smith, (London: Routledge, 2002)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Visual and critical analysis
- Independent research skills
- Presentation and communication skills
- Organisation and planning
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Fiona Anderson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3120
Course secretaryMiss Lizzie Robertson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5852
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