THAP 2632 – Baudrillard The Conspiracy of Art Readings


As mentioned last week, we will be looking at a more critical approach to art and interpretation this week through Jean Baudrillard’s The Conspiracy of Art. The Conspiracy of Art is a collection of articles and interviews with Jean Baudrillard, each concerned with his developing position and critique of contemporary art. The set readings from this book are the opening essay entitled The Conspiracy of Art and Art Contemporary…of Itself.

You will find the book below in its entirety. The essay The Conspiracy of Art can be found at pages 25-29, while Art Contemporary…of Itself can be found at pages 89-97. I strongly recommend also looking at Sylvere Lotringer’s introduction to the book entitled The Piracy of Art (also in the edition uploaded below). See here:

[Jean Baudrillard The Conspiracy of Art

If you encounter problems downloading this file (it is fairly big) then all three readings can be found in these pds:

Lotringer’s The Piracy of Art – introduction to Baudrillard’s The Conspiracy of Art



General discussion will take place on Monday, including plenary session on the semester.



THAP 3432 – Krauss Grids Reading Questions


See here for reading questions for tomorrows class work:

Krauss – Grids – Reading Questions

You all know the score – break into groups, 30-40 minutes of discussion, then discuss findings on your allocated/chosen question.
Look forward to it.

THAP 2632 – Semiotics Reading/Plenary Session/Group Assessment III


Last week we explored semiotics/semiology in some detail. This week you wil be asked to respond to one of the semiotic texts provided a fortnight ago.  You will break into your discussion groups and select one of the set readings. Your group will then formulate a response to that reading. You will have 40 minutes to do so.

Groups will then present their findings/response to the class. This will take 40 minutes in total.

Look forward to it.




THAP 3432 – Reading, Krauss, ‘Grids’


Our next reading is an essay by Rosalind Krauss, entitled ‘Grids’. It is from her seminal book ‘The Originality of the Avant-garde and Other Modernist Myths’ (1985). ‘Grids’ can be found here:


A useful review of ‘The Originality of the Avant-garde and Other Modernist Myths’, with a discussion of ‘Grids’, can be found below. This might provide some context to Krauss’s broader discussion.

Review of Krauss The Originality of the Avant-garde and Other Modernist Myths (Grids) and Gablik’s ‘Has Modernism Failed’?

The above also reviews (and lambasts) Suzi Gablik’s ‘Has Modernism Failed’. It is worth reading this part of the review also, as Gablik provides another view on art after modernism, and the wider issue of art after the ‘end of art’ generally. It may be a useful counterpoint to Krauss’s work.

The very keen, or those with spare time on their hands, can read this longer excerpt from ‘The Originality of the Avant-garde and Other Modernist Myths’, though it is not required reading. See here:


I’ll give an overview on Thursday and we will discuss the reading in general.


THAP 2632 & THAP 3432

Hi All,

Just a reminder to second years that tomorrow is a public holiday, so no class. Please have completed the readings posted below by our next class on the following Monday.

And third years, the planned strike has been cancelled. Our Thursday class will go ahead as per usual. See you same time and same place. And be sure to have read the articles on Kuspit.

Enjoy your Labor Day.


THAP 2632 – Barthes and Eco Readings


Our next section of readings illustrate the semiotic approach to the study of culture. This is an approach that reached a height in popularity in the 70s and 80s, though remains relevant to contemporary interpretations of art. Please read the following essays from Mythologies, a seminal work on myth by Roland Barthes.

Roland Barthes on plastic:


Roland Barthes on the new Citroen car (circa 1957):


Roland Barthes on a certain type of art criticism/interpretation, and why these critics play dumb:

Blind and Dumb Criticism – Barthes

The following review of Mythologies should also be read, as it provide a useful framework for understanding Barthes’s semiotic analysis of the everyday, especially its more political aspects:

Review – Barthes Mythologies

I’d also like you to read Umberto Eco, another semiotician, on jeans and philosophy:

lumbar thought- Eco

The above is taken from Eco’s Travels in Hyperreality (1986), also titled Faith in Fakes. A review of the book can be found here:

Travels in Hyperreality Review

I have scanned Eco’s The Multiplication of the Media and Two Families of Objects, from his Travels in Hyperreality. See here:

Eco Multiplication of The Media and Two Families of Objects

Please read as much of the above as possible by our next Monday class.
As normal I will give an overview/introductory lecture.

NOTE: don’t be intimidated by the amount of reading – the above articles are all short, and so the amount of reading is comparable to previous weeks. We will also have a fortnight on this topic.

NOTE ALSO: both Mythologies and Travels in Hyperreality are available at the SCA library, and both books are easily sourced from book stores (cheap copies should be available at decent second hand book stores). It might be good to get your hands on a copy.

Cheers and happy reading.

THAP 3432 – D Kuspit The End Of Art Readings


We will be looking now at Donald Kuspit’s view of ‘the end of art’, as outlined in his book of 2004, appropriately entitled The End of Art. I have not been able to scan and upload an excerpt, however, the book should now be on reserve at the SCA library. Please read the two reviews of Kuspit’s The End of Art provided below:

The End of Art by Donald Kuspit REVIEW by Thomas Leddy

The End of Art by Donald Kuspit REVIEW by Robert Radford

An interview with Kuspit on the the book can also be found here:

The End of Art – Interview with Donald Kuspit

The above should situate you in Kuspit’s argument, and I will provide an overview on Thursday in class.