Towson MFA Curating Syllabus ART 782 – 101

ART TOPICS Th 6:30PM – 9:10PM

CA3005

08/31/2011 – 12/21/2011

PROFESSOR:       Maiza Hixson

                                    Email: mhixson@towson.edu

                                    Phone: (502) 489-2655

                                    Office hours: Thurs 12-3 and by appointment

                                    Office location: Art office, Center for the Arts 3103

The MFA Seminar: Critical, Creative Curating: Theory and Practice

A “hands-on” course in the history and changing definition of curating, this seminar will address conceptual approaches to and methods of organizing exhibitions. As part of your coursework, you will have the opportunity to develop and propose two curatorial projects: Assignment I and Assignment II.

Assignment I will be an educational curatorial project (designated within the gallery) for the “Masters of the Visual Universe” MFA Biennial exhibition at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, slated to open on October 7, 2011. Assignment I DUE OCT 7

Assignment II will include researching and proposing a curatorial project on a topic of your choice. This could be a proposal for a solo exhibition or thematic group exhibition on a particular artist or concept or a proposal for an exhibition of your own work, provided it meets curatorial criteria as defined in the syllabus. Assignment II DUE DEC 15

Assignment III CUR(EAT): a curated food performance/democratic voting platform to be developed and discussed in class. Individuals will be responsible for curating a food-based exhibition. Assignment III DUE SEPT 15

Assignment IV, V: 2 MUSEOLOGICAL CRITIQUES: You will have the opportunity to travel to two different museums or other “exhibition” venues to conduct a museological critique as defined in class discussion. You will be responsible for writing a one-page critique on each institution. Assignment IV #1 DUE NOV 17 & Assignment IV #2 DUE DEC 8

Course Goals:

We will learn how to research, conceptualize, develop, write, and effectively present a curatorial proposal. While we will gain an awareness of museological practice and administration, we will focus heavily on the conceptual blockbusting involved in creating topics for exhibitions and how theorizing culture is intrinsic to curating.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE:

September

1         Review of Syllabus, Course Goals

            Intro to 1st Project: Curating an Educational/Social Artwork for the DCCA’s MFA Biennial (See additional document on Blackboard    titled Assignment I)

            Topics of Discussion: An “Exhibition As School As Work of Art.”

            We will address the history of museums, theories of curating, and art education in the visual arts and learn about the curatorial thesis of the DCCA’s MFA Biennial: Masters of the Visual Universe. We will consider the following questions: When did an MFA become a “requirement” for artists? How do today’s programs reflect the democratization of artistic styles and voices? What type of art is being made today and how is the awareness of new types of expression being reflected in today’s graduate curricula? What is an MFA in Curating and how could it change the nature of exhibitions? We will discuss artists who create schools as works of art and look at the educational role of curating and discuss the New Museum’s “Museum As Hub,” program set up by Eungie Joo.

            Readings:

            Anton Vidokle, Martha Rosler, “Exhibition As School As Work of Art”

            Robert Storr, “View from the Bridge: What are the ever increasing numbers of art school graduates to do?”

            Tom Morton, “The Name of the Game: What is a Curator?”

            Robert Storr, “View from the Bridge: The Exhibitionists”

            Irit Rogoff: “The Educational Turn in Curating”

            Maria Lind, “On the Curatorial”

            Barbara Pollack, “You’re Engaged!”

8          Attend The Book: A Contemporary View (exhibition) until 7 p.m.

            Discussion of Readings

            Discussion of Ideas for 1st Seminar Assignment I: Curating an Educational/Social Project for the DCCA’s MFA Biennial (See additional             document on Blackboard titled Assignment I)

            Video Screening

            Topic of Discussion: Critical Curatorial Practice, Blockbusters and Biennials

            From the MFA Biennial to the Venice Biennale to the Whitney Biennial to the People’s Biennial, we will discuss the various strategies and motivations behind mounting large-scale, thematic group exhibitions. Other topics under consideration are how individual countries are represented at the Venice Biennale and how the Whitney Biennial has changed over the last several years to respond to various critiques of mounting such ambitious exhibitions.

            Readings:

            Nina Simon, “The Participatory Museum”

            Maiza Hixson, “Curatorial Statement”

            Carol Duncan, “The Art Museum As Ritual”

            Nicolas Bourriaud, “Art of the 1990s: Participation and Transitivity”

            Nato Thompson, “Contractions of Time: On Social Practice from a Temporal Perspective”

            Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author”

            Michel Foucault, “What is an Author?”

15        Discussion of Readings

Cur(EAT) (Bring $10)

Assignment I Project Proposal Due

            Group Presentations of Project Ideas

            Vote for Project, Project with most votes lays out immediate work plan/Action Steps for producing the project at DCCA

            No Readings

22       Work on MFA Biennial Project in Class

            Report on Status of projects, discuss questions and concerns

29       Work on MFA Biennial Project in Class

            Report on Status of projects, discuss questions and concerns

October

3            MANDATORY: Meet at DCCA for Installation of MFA Biennial Project at DCCA -TIME To Be Announced

6            No Class; Meet the next evening at DCCA on Oct 7 to prepare for opening of MFA Biennial: Masters of the Visual Universe

7            MANDATORY: Meet in the Lobby of DCCA – TIME TO BE ANNOUNCED

            PRESENT MFA BIENNIAL PROJECTS AND Attend Masters of the Visual Universe from 6-9 pm MEETING THIS DEADLINE  COUNTS FOR 20 % OF YOUR FINAL GRADE.

Oct continued…

13       Follow up: MFA Biennial

            Introduction to Assignment II

            Readings TO BE ANNOUNCED

20      Presentation and Discussion of Museum Methods I

            Review of last week’s readings

            Readings TO BE ANNOUNCED

27      Attend Lecture 6:30 pm-JIM GALLUCCI LECTURE: I MEAN BUSINESS: A REALITY LOOK AT MAKING A LIVING AS AN ARTIST

            Center for the Arts, Room 2032

            Return to Class @7:30

            Presentation and Discussion of Museum Methods II

             Review of last week’s reading

            Assignment II, Curatorial Project CONCEPT ONLY (Due.

November

3        NO CLASS.  MEET IN INDIVIDUAL CONFERENCES.  YOU MUST BRING YOUR REVISED CURATORIAL  PROPOSAL AND OUTLINE, AND BIBLIOGRAPHY for ASSIGNMENT II.

5        Optional Field Trip to Philadelphia to view two exhibitions: Here and Hennessey Youngman’s show at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

10       NO CLASS.  MEET IN INDIVIDUAL CONFERENCES.  YOU MUST BRING YOUR REVISED CURATORIAL  PROPOSAL AND OUTLINE, AND BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR ASSIGNMENT II.

17        Attend my lecture 6:30 p.m. on Art, Life, and Curating, Center for the Arts, Lecture Hall, Room 2032

             First ONE of TWO EXHIBITION CRITIQUES DUE in class by 8:30 p.m.

24       No Class-Thanksgiving

December 

1           Field Trip TBA

8          Special Guest and Activity TBA

             Second of TWO EXHIBITION CRITIQUES due in class by 8:30 p.m.

              Presentation of Assignment II to the Class

15          YOUR FOLDER WITH BOTH OF YOUR CURATORIAL ASSIGNMENTS (I & II) – DUE BY 12:30 P.M.

            (You may submit your folder at any time before this deadline by turning it in to my office, just let me know that you have done so, so that I know to pick it up.)

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

1.      Class attendance is mandatory.  More than 2 unexcused absences in the semester will force your semester grade to drop by one letter (A to B, for example).

      *****If you do miss a class for any reason, you must contact me by email or phone immediately in order for me to consider excusing you from the absence!

2.    CONFERENCES are also required and unexcused absences will not be allowed.

3.    CURATORIAL assignments:

I.      ASSIGNMENT I – (40% of your grade (20% OF WHICH IS LIVE PARTICIPATION))

II.      ASSIGNMENT II – (40% of your grade (20% OF WHICH IS LIVE PARTICIPATION))

4.    Class participation & READING THE ASSIGNED READINGS AND PARTICIPATING IN Cur(EAT) (10% of your grade)

5.    2 field trips to VIEW ART EXHIBITIONS & WRITE two, one-PAGE MUSEOLOGICAL CRITIQUES DUE AT END OF SEMESTER –TOTAL 10% of your grade)

6.    At the end of the semester, you must submit a folder of your TWO MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS and TWO CRITIQUES.

CONFERENCES:  Prior to the due date for each Assignment, class time is set aside for each student to meet with the instructor on an individual basis.  The instructor will read your PROPOSAL FOR the Assignment and address your specific needs in improving your work.  A missed CONFERENCE appointment will cause your grade for the ASSIGNMENT to drop by one letter. 

LATE ASSIGNMENT POLICY: Any assignment handed in late (that is, anytime after the class period on the due date) will be marked down one letter grade (10 points).

GRADING:  I use the plus/minus system for grading, with letter grades converted to numbers as follows: “A” = 93-100; “A-” = 90-92; “B+” = 87-89; “B” = 83-86; “B-“ = 80-82, “C+” = 77-79; “C” = 72-76; “D” = 60-71.

GRADING RUBRIC:

How Assignments I & II are graded:

A proposal will earn an “A” if it demonstrates not only a command of the material but has done so on an excellent level. In particular, the thesis about the overall concept of the CURATORIAL PROJECT should be clearly stated, and the project should include all components as articulated in the Assignment I document. Furthermore, the curatorial writing style and public presentation should be highly creative, grammatically correct and structurally varied.  A “B” project will have a clear thesis statement but not fully support stated thesis and/or demonstrate a less sophisticated style of writing and public presentation of the concept with less mature vocabulary, less creativity and less clear organization. A “C” project will have no clear concept, show a marked lack of organization, and not follow the directions for the assignment well with less mature articulation of concepts and ideas. Grades of “D” or “F” will be given to projects that show little to no understanding of the issues for this assignment, are poorly conceived, written, presented, and fail to follow directions.

How Assignment III (Cur(EAT) is graded:

As a food-related exhibition, the project will earn an “A” if it demonstrates not only a command of the material but has done so on an excellent level with comparable curatorial conceptualization, vocabulary, writing, presentation, and organizational skills. It is inconsequential that the food taste “good,” as this is a qualitative judgment that is up to the eater. A “B” project will have a clear concept but not fully support the stated concept and/or demonstrate a less sophisticated style of curatorial conceptualization, writing, presentation, and organizational skills with less mature curatorial vocabulary, less clear organization. A “C” project will have a broad thesis statement, a marked lack of organization, and not follow the directions for the assignment well with less mature curatorial awareness, vocabulary, and ideas. Grades of “D” or “F” will be given to projects that show little to no understanding of the issues, are poorly written, and fail to follow directions.

How Assignment IV (#1 & #2) is graded:

A museological critique will earn an “A” if it demonstrates not only a command of the material but has done so on an excellent level with comparable curatorial writing skills. In particular, the critique related to the chosen institution should be focused and clearly stated, and the paper should have a well-developed body that fully supports the thesis statement through well-organized, unified paragraphs.  Furthermore, the writing style should demonstrate grammatically correct and structurally varied sentences and phrasing. A “B” paper will have a clear thesis statement but not fully support it and/or demonstrate a less sophisticated style of writing with less mature vocabulary, less variety in sentence structure, less clear organization. A “C” paper will have a broad thesis statement, a marked lack of organization, and not follow the directions for the assignment well with less mature vocabulary, sentence structure, and ideas. Grades of “D” or “F” will be given to papers that show little to no understanding of the issues, are poorly written, and fail to follow directions.

PLAGIARISM:  Any instance of plagiarism on any assignment will result in an F on that paper and possibly an F for the course, depending upon the severity of the instance.  See below for a detailed explanation of academic dishonesty and its consequences below:

Academic Dishonesty:

http://wwwnew.towson.edu/provost/resources/studentacademic.asp

All class members are to follow the fundamental principles of academic integrity outlined in the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct. The Policy on Academic Misconduct appears in the Code and in the Schedule of Classes. The basic principle is that students take credit only for the ideas and efforts that are their own. Any act of academic dishonesty will place you in jeopardy of the most severe form of sanction by Towson University – expulsion from the University 

Included among dishonest behaviors in an academic setting are cheating (using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance, materials, information, or study aids in an academic exercise), fabrication (falsifying or inventing information in an academic exercise), plagiarism (adopting or reproducing of ideas, words, or statements of another person without appropriate acknowledgment), interference (stealing, changing, destroying, or impeding another student’s work), and facilitating (intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another student commit an act of academic misconduct).

A further definition of plagiarism from your TU policies guide is as follows:

             Plagiarism – presenting work, products, ideas, words, or data of another as one’s own is plagiarism.  Indebtedness must be acknowledged whenever:       

            1.   one quotes another person’s actual words or replicates all or part of another’s product.  This includes all information gleaned from any source, including the Internet.

            2.  one uses another person’s ideas, opinions, work, data, or theories, even if they are completely paraphrased in one’s own words.

            3.  one borrows facts, statistics, or other illustrative materials.

We will discuss how to avoid this in your papers as part of our class discussions.

The Academic Integrity Policy also includes falsification as follows 

Falsification– submitting a false excuse forabsence or tardiness in a scheduled academic exercise

The consequence for falsification ranges from an “F” on that assignment to an “F” for the course.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: http://wwwnew.towson.edu/dss/ Towson University (TU) is in full compliance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Students with disabilities should register with the Office for Students with Disabilities (Dowell Hall, Second Level, 410/830-2638) after admission to ensure the timely provision of required support services. Students must provide documentation of a disability from the TU Office for Students with Disabilities.

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