Reading and Writing about Visual Experience: Art and Space: Tian’anmen Square Since 1949
Since 1949, the area of Tian’anmen Gate and Square has gone through major spatial and architectural renovations. Along with these physical changes, the area has developed into a highly charged space for political theatre and protest. This class will consider artworks in various mediums related to the development of Tian’anmen since 1949. Students will learn to consider the deep interaction between art and politics and discover the gradual production of space that pulsates within a national psyche. We will focus on government-sponsored images as well as artists’ responses to national events at Tian’anmen in the 1980s to the present. Some questions to be considered throughout the course are: How are spaces produced? How do social practices and national histories contribute to the production of space? Why are some sites so potent in the collective memory of the people? How do artworks function within and depict spaces? As the second half of the Reading and Composition requirement, the goal of this course is to provide students with the support to write a 10-page research paper. Students should also expect to complete several drafts of the paper, an annotated bibliography and a short presentation.