Theory: Social Art (gLV) 

Artists approaching social inequality and the borders of the art world

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Nummer und TypBKM-BKM-Th.19H.016 / Moduldurchführung
VeranstalterDepartement Fine Arts
LeitungMarcel Bleuler
Anzahl Teilnehmendemaximal 14
ECTS3 Credits
VoraussetzungenThe seminar requires from its participants an interest in critical analysis and in self-reflective discussion. Depending on the language skills of the participants, it will be held in English or in German.
ZielgruppenInterested students of other study programmes can contact and will be informed at the end of calendar week 36 about a possible participation.
Lernziele / Kompetenzen
  • Gaining an understanding of social art, its history, seminal practices and the discourses in this field
  • Strengthening a critical and analytical approach to art projects that involve social groups
  • Developing ideas for including a social dimension in one’s own practice
InhalteSince the 21st century, artists have more and more collaborated with communities outside of the art world and engaged in challenging sociopolitical contexts. Their practices are bound to critical postmodern theories about the constitution of power and the dynamics of exclusion/inclusion. Guiding questions in this specific field of art are: How can we live together in a world based on global hierarchies and social inequality? How can the marginalized gain visibility and participate in public life? How can art foster dialogue across social difference? With view to the practices that emerge from these questions, this seminar elaborates a concept of social art. As part of the course, we will analyze a range of projects from various (geographic) contexts, and discuss the basic theoretical concepts and notions underlying this field. We will thereby mainly focus on two aspects. Firstly, on the relational dimension (how and to what ends do artists involve communities/individuals into their projects, and what dynamics do thereby develop?), and secondly on the transdisciplinary positioning of social art (what are the relations of social art projects to political activism and social engagement, and how can they be positioned in the larger field of contemporary art?).

Marcel Bleuler (PhD) works as a practice-based senior scientist at the University of Salzburg. Since 2014, he has been researching projects of collaborative and social art, especially in the framing of international cooperation. His research is closely intertwined with curatorial projects and field studies, especially in Georgia, Austria and Germany. Marcel was a project manager for artasfoundation, the Swiss Foundation for art in regions of conflict, and is co-director of the CAS ARTS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION at the ZHdK.
Leistungsnachweis / TestatanforderungMandatory attendance (minimum 80%); active participation.
Preparatory reading, oral presentations and writing assignments.
TermineTime: 09:15 - 17:00 Uhr

CW 49 (Monday to Friday): 02 - 06 December
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Termine (5)