The new Semester has (already!) started here at Ohio State and I am teaching a class called Classical Mythology/Contemporary Art. Now, unlike many of the essays in the illuminating recent volume of essays on this topic – Isabelle Loring Wallace and Jennie Hirsh (eds) Contemporary Art and Classical Myth (Ashgate, 2011) – my course is less focused on ‘versions’ of Classical Myths in Contemporary Art (e.g. Narcissus or Proteus as reworked by Roy Lichtenstein or Cy Twombly), but instead on a more basic, fundamental correspondence between Classical Myth and Contemporary Art.
For example, how such issues as war, trauma and homecoming, heroism, humans and the divine, issues of place and landscape, and conceptions of identity, history and desire are explored in Classical literature and Contemporary Art. In the broadest sense possible, the class aims to get the students to appreciate not only the timelessness of Classical Myth and timeliness of Contemporary Art, but also the specificity of Classical Myths in Greek and Roman culture and the far-reaching ambitions of works of Contemporary Art.
In terms of this blog, what I am aiming to do is to report back on the class discussion of a series of Art works, chosen based on the recent collection Defining Comntemporary Art: 25 Years in 200 Pivotal Art Works (Phaidon 2012).
Here is a rough schedule for the class, so you can see what themes we are covering and when:
Sept. 12th Same as it ever was: Appropriation Art
Sept. 17th War, Trauma & Homecoming
Sept. 19th Heroes & Villains
Oct. 8th Objects vs. Ideas: Conceptual Art
Oct. 10th Origins & Creations
Oct. 29th The Body & Performance Art
Oct. 31th Strange Spaces &Loaded Landscapes
Nov. 5th Conflicted Identities
Nov. 26th Mixed Media & Installation Art
Nov. 28th History & Fiction
Dec. 3th Sex, Desire & Pleasure