Through the lecture programme for this module, you are starting to become aware of the significant critical, theoretical and artistic shifts that have occurred in media, art and design history and how artefacts of a particular time period are to some extent bounded by and generated from their social and cultural circumstances.
This assignment requires you to make a comparative analysis of two artworks. The definition of ‘artwork’ can mean a film, game, illustration, poster, advertisement, painting, sculpture, installation, material object etc. that you identify as being ‘new’, innovative or challenging to the ‘norm’ in some way. This could be because they challenged preconceptions through their form or subject matter, or through how or where they were displayed; because the materials, technologies or techniques used to create them were new or experimental, or because of the role they played in influencing other artists / designers / filmmakers and artefacts created during that time, or because of the critical and/or public reaction to the work at the time.
Analyse your chosen artworks, recording what you can find out about each artwork itself. You should then carry out in depth research into the social, cultural and artistic contexts of the time the artworks were produced so that you can build a picture of the socio-cultural circumstances occurring through and being reflected by the visual arts during the time each work was made.
Use the following questions to help you plan your essay:
- How would you categorise/describe each artwork?
- How is each artwork intended to be read? Who are they for?
- In what contexts – social, historical, cultural – are the artists making the works?
- What other artworks were being made at the time? Do the works represent an instance of a ‘movement’? If so, what were the characteristics of that movement? If not, were your selected artworks a reaction against a particular movement or style?
- What political and philosophical points of view were emerging at the time the artworks were made?
- Did the artworks respond to or reflect these in any way?