School of Art, Media, and Technology

Spring 2020 Electives, Topics in 2D: Breaking the 4th Wall – Matthew Villareal

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Topics in 2D: Breaking the 4th Wall

PUFA 3220, CRN 5239

This class will focus on strategies and techniques in 2D art practices where the boundary between viewer and artwork is blurred or broken. We will explore what it means conceptually and art-historically for a 2D work of art to function as a self-conscious representation of the art-making process itself or, in one way or the other, makes the viewer part of the subject matter or making process. A term usually reserved for the performing arts, the fourth wall describes the implied, invisible wall which separates the audience from the performance. Most artworks naturally follow the convention that a viewer can peer into the world of the art object but the art object is unaware or unchanged by the viewer. To break the fourth wall is to violate the implied, invisible wall which separates viewer and subject.  We will research the practices of artists who effectively disrupt the 4th wall convention, such as Cai Guo-Qiang, Rafael Lozano Hemmer, Teresa Margolles, George Platt Lynes, Zanele Muholi, and others.

Prerequisite: Core Studio 1: 2D or 1000 level Painting

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