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Visual Art: Histories, Networks and Organisations


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: to be confirmed
  • Assessment: a review, case study presentation and 2000-word essay

Module description

In this module we provide an overview of working practices in the visual arts sector and the creative, enquiring and analytical approach involved in the presentation of the visual arts. By way of case studies, we will explore key histories and issues of curating visual art, both in the UK and internationally.

We aim to develop your understanding of the complex network of relationships between individuals and organisations when it comes to curating and organising visual arts exhibitions and events.

Indicative syllabus

  • Types of exhibitions
  • The curator, the artist, the dealer and the manager: their roles and interrelationships
  • Institutional history and mission and vision
  • Space and place: off-site and site specificity
  • The international and global: biennales and art fairs
  • Interpretation and mediation - how do we speak to our audiences?
  • Curating beyond the exhibition
  • Spontaneous curating

Learning objectives

By the end of the module, you will be able to:

  • critically analyse the contemporary art scene and issues crucial to arts managers, practitioners and curators
  • demonstrate an understanding of the different roles and responsibilities of working practices and organisational structures in the visual arts
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the relationships between art, artists, audiences and the context of arts organisations.