Ontario College of Art & Design

Course Calendar


Special Topic in Visual Culture: Aboriginal Cultural Politics: Gender, Art and Activism
0.50 Credit(s)
Academic Course
Prerequisite: 7.5 credits, including all first-year requirements (5.0 credits) and 1.0 credit of second-year liberal arts & sciences (including 0.5 credit in VISA/VISC/VISD/VISM).
This course is an exploration of Aboriginal artists who are working with themes of gender, politics and contentious issues. The focus will be on artists who see their art making as both critically engaged and as part of their relationship to their communities. This will involve analyzing their work through personal testimonies, reviews and readings in the context of Aboriginal political and social issues. The course will work through theories of dialogical aesthetics, community-based and site-specific art practices and how this does or does not relate to Aboriginal epistemologies. Reflecting on differing stances on gender relations and feminism/theory, the course will examine how Aboriginal artists reject or participate in this dialogue. It will also reflect on the current role art has in our global society. In western or colonial countries such as Canada the function of art has often been confined to a gallery space with visual aesthetics being the primary rational for art production, we will begin to complicate and problematize this stance.

The course will reflect on local and established Aboriginal artists such as Rebecca Belmore, Faye Heavysheild and Jeff Thomas and will draw comparisons with Indigenous artists from the United States and various Latin American countries. The course will consist of readings, in class discussions, visual presentations, films, field trips and any other related possibilities.
Anti-requisite: Students who have taken VISC 3B96 Special Topic in Visual Culture: Aboriginal Cultural Politics: Gender, Art and Activism may not take this course for further credit.
Notes: This "Special Topic" course provides more advanced analysis of a topic of general interest or relevance. This course fulfills 0.5 credit toward the Liberal Art & Sciences requirements for a BFA or BDes.
Course was last updated May 2, 2012 - 4:34 PM