Fictions of Formal Analysis

Fictions of Formal Analysis
Art historical writing rests upon the precise description of art objects, yet the seemingly factual work of formal analysis is powerfully interpretive. This is so much so that many compelling descriptive passages in art history might be said to have a touch of fiction in them. To test this hypothesis, we will reverse these terms and explore instances of formal analysis and ekphrasis as they appear in contemporary fiction. Throughout we will consider the question: what might fictional description reveal about the historical strategies of formal analysis? Written work for the course will often be experimental in nature, potentially including semi-fictional approaches and writing that takes close looking to the point of defamiliarization. In our reading and writing, we will get away from traditional art historical writing for much of the course as a way to return to it more thoughtfully. Seminar; no prerequisites, though some exposure to art history expected. (Pass/Fail)
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HARC 0351

All Sections in Winter 2019

Winter 2019

HARC0351A-W19 Seminar (Vazquez)