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Art Theory and Cultural Studies

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Foto © Jens Kastner
Foto © Anette Baldauf
Foto © Lisa Rastl
Foto © Lisa Rastl
Foto © Jens Kastner
Foto © Anette Baldauf
Foto © Lisa Rastl
Foto © Lisa Rastl

Artistic knowledge goes beyond canons and competence

The Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies takes into account that the job profiles and professional fields of art college graduates have considerably diversified and extended in recent years. An increasing interest in the forms of production and knowledge developing in modern and contemporary art as well as in (audio)visual culture may be observed in both the academic world and that of art, in the exhibition sector, in educational contexts and in adjacent institutional spheres. Not only from a historical but also from a contemporary perspective, teaching art theory and cultural studies and doing research in this area thus call for a curriculum developed in a mutually deepening exchange with artistic practices and focusing on a range of subjects such as (1) transcultural aesthetics with an emphasis on postcolonial, queer-feminist and capitalism-critical perspectives; (2) artistic knowledge, the history and practice of art, and art criticism; (3) art and popular culture, practice theories, social movements, and alternative and subcultures. Our courses include the reflective development of methodical-terminological and operative instruments for the realization of projects transcending disciplines and institutes. Our colloquia, lecture series and conferences serve to communicate the artistic forms of production and research practiced at an academy of fine arts to the public.

The Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies not only intends to provide students with a profound knowledge of the artistic material and the relevant cultural fields both in terms of theory and practice. Our institute also aims at strengthening methodical and analytical skills which enhance the quality, i.e. the dynamics and elegance, of critical reflection.

Each semester, the Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies offers the lecture series (Ringvorlesung) "Theoretical approaches/methods" and is mainly responsible for the Master of Critical Studies. Furthermore, it supervises the PhD in Practice Program together with the Institute for Fine Arts.