Theory of the Copy (Also Rhetoric 189.2)
The course surveys critical controversies surrounding fakes, forgeries, imitations, and appropriations from the Late Renaissance to the present day, in European, American, Australian and Chinese art. Each of the images and objects we will examine sparked extensive debates in art history, philosophy, anthropology, social theory or legal studies, around which we will build our own discussions. Through a series of historical case studies, we will track how copies are excised—and sometimes reinstated—into the status of art, and delve into the impact of the copy on the rhetorics of authorship, genius, individuality, expertise and technology. Students will read key texts on the copy in varying cultural contexts, and examine the disciplinary methods taken up to define and evaluate it. They will also develop a critical awareness for the rhetorics of visual and material analysis, and for the plethora of ways in which artists and theorists have utilized the copy to reveal the institutional, legal, aesthetic and social boundaries of art.
Requirements include attendance and participation, museum visit, short writing assignments in visual and formal analysis, and a final paper. Required Texts: All materials and readings will be posted on B-Space.