2017-2018 Catalog

ARTS 301 Writing Art and Writing As Art

Audre Lorde famously wrote that the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. What possibilities open up when we use language - a common currency of our everyday lives, too often the foundation that props up structures of confinement and limitation - on our own terms, in forms of our own invention and modes we imagine autonomously? How can we use writing to support and expand the work we do as artists? Is language a “master’s tool” or is it a tool we can use to “dismantle the master’s house”? In this class, we will explore creative forms such as artistic manifestos, statements of poetics/aesthetics, and reviews as invitations to better understand and articulate the parameters of our own art practice, and as powerful opportunities for collective enunciation. We will do close readings of primary texts from European, Latin American, and U.S. American avant-garde and art-activist movements, both historical and present-day. We will consider essays, reviews, manifestos, poems, blog posts, and tweets. Students will write individual and collaborative art statements as a way to clarify their own work, and think through larger issues in aesthetics and the social/political potential of art. Assignment exercises will encompass research and practice in collective and individual art writing, focusing both on student work and the work of other artists.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Fine Arts
  • Global Connections