Visual Culture Critique: Key Concepts | Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem

Visual Culture Critique: Key Concepts

Total Hours
Semester A
Course Day
Time 10:00 - 11:30

Visual culture, which had received growing theoretical attention throughout the 20th century, has evolved into a full-blown subject matter when visual imagery – created not only by works of art but also by ads and commercials, television programs, press photography, surveillance cameras and cellular phones, feature films and video clips, graffiti, fashion and design – became an integral part of everyday life. In this introductory course we will look at key theories that inform the critical study of visual culture and draw from them analytical tools that will allow us to place various visual phenomena in relevant theoretical contexts in order to properly appreciate their effect on the individual and on society. We will read canonical texts by thinkers such as Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Laura Mulvey, Edward Said, Jean Baudrillard and Irit Rogoff, which will allow us to consider notions such as Heterotopia and the Mirror Stage, Consumerism and Spectacle, Culture Industry and the Optical Unconscious, Capitalist Ideology and the Male Gaze, Subjectivity and Fetishism, Simulation and Mythology, Orientalism and Globalization – and to productively employ the force of critique.