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OCMO 2080 - Contemporary Art in the Arab World

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2014-2015

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

The rapid socio-cultural developments experienced in the Arab World are reflected in, and foretold by, contemporary artistic production in the region. In this course we introduce contemporary art as a tool to understand and analyze the Arab world, from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries to the conflicted Levant and the ‘Arab Spring' in North Africa. We examine the relations between art and power in general, and in the Arab 20th century in particular.

Objective of the course: open the eyes of the students to art as a tool to understand how societies are changing, adding political to aesthetic sensitivity; cast new perspectives on the Arab World, its possible pasts and likely futures.


KLUIJVER, Robert P. (Consultant)

Pedagogical format

Given the experimental nature of the course, the pedagogical format is innovative: there will be several excursions, either during class hours or afterwards, to museums, galleries and other events; when in class one hour of lectures will be followed by group discussions and student presentations.

Course validation

Students will be noted on participation in class (25%), including assimilation of required reading and viewing, for an individual or group presentation (25%) of a particular socio-cultural or political situation in the Arab world analyzed through art, and for their end paper (50%).


Viewing/reading before each class: 2-6 hours; preparing for the individual or group presentation: about 6 hours; end paper: about 4,000 words.

Required reading

  • Secret Modernity by Peter Friedl in e-flux journal, 11/2009
  • Introduction to the Gulf Art World by Robert Kluijver, self-published, 2013
  • Art. Democratism. Propaganda by Jonas Staal in e-flux journal, 2/2014

Plans de cours et bibliographies