Sensation: Contemporary Art

1. The City of Sydney is organising an international festival of contemporary international art based on the theme of ‘the sustainable city’, as part of the ‘Sustainable Sydney 2030’ initiative. You have been appointed as curator of the festival’s visual arts component. You want to articulate links between ‘sustainability’ and ‘city’. Outline your concepts, and include suggestions for events, selected artists and art projects. 2. Issues of identity have dominated contemporary art practice and criticism from the 1970s to the present. However today many artists and critics argue that ‘identity politics’ have become too programmatic: conceptually predictable and aesthetically unimaginative. Do you agree? Choosing just ONE aspect of art and identity (for instance EITHER cultural, sexual, gender, racial, class or religious identity), canvas both sides of the debate, making reference to specific art works in your discussion. 3. While sustainability may be an important subject for contemporary art, does it necessarily prompt aesthetically interesting or challenging projects? Critically discuss approximately 2-3 art projects concerned with landscape, ecology and/or the environment. Compare how these artists use the land (eg. directly as in ecological reclamation, or as an analytic, allegorical or other expressive figure). How would you characterise or theorise the aesthetic (and not just instrumental) values of these projects? 4. Do traditional artisanal knowledges, skills and media have a critical place in contemporary art, or are they hopelessly anachronistic today



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