29012 - Phenomenology of Contemporary Art (1) (2nd cycle)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

The student at the end of the course is sensitized to the acquisition of hermeneutical tools that allow to understand the contemporary artistic phenomena at the same time through their individual and cultural coordinates, and through knowledge of the historical and sociological contexts in which the works of art and trends art originated.

Course contents

The exam for Contemporary Art B consists of two courses:

Phenomenology of Contemporary Art (prof. Silvia Grandi) and Art in Europe between the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (prof. Gian Luca Tusini).

Contemporary Art is an integrated exam of 12 CFU (6 CFU+6 CFU) and the evaluation of the preparation follows the procedures laid down for integrated exams, i.e. they must be taken in the same session and students must then register simultaneously for both exams.

This course will be held in the first semester, and divided into two modules of 30 hours of lessons each, corresponding to 6 credits.

  • LM students in Visual Arts registered for the2018-2019 A.Y. shall refer to both modules (12 credits exam) lezioni dal 23/9 al 18/12/2019.
  • LM students in Visual Arts registered for the 2019-2020 A.Y. shall refer only to the first module (6 credits exam) lezioni dal 23/9 al 30/10/2019.
  • LM students in Italian Studies, European Literary Cultures, Language Sciences shall refer only to the first module (6 credits exam) lezioni dal 23/9 al 30/10/2019.
  • LM students in CITEM shall refer only to the second module (6 credits exam) lezioni dall'11/11 al 18/12/2019.

First module (6 credits)

In the first module, the course aims to provide theoretic-methodological and historical-critical tools for understanding contemporary art from the second half of the nineteenth century until today. The succession of movements will be the starting point for reflecting on the changes of styles, techniques and artistic practices till the current immateriality trends.

Second module (6 credits exam)

The second module will deal with the theme of moving images, from the historical Avant-Gardes of the early Twentieth Century through the birth of video art to the latest developments in multimedia experimentation.


First module

BARILLI, Renato, BARILLI, Renato, Scienza della cultura e fenomenologia degli stili, Bononia University Press, Bologna, 2007.

BARILLI, Renato, L’arte contemporanea. Da Cézanne alle ultime tendenze, Feltrinelli, Milano, edition 2005 or following.

Second module

LISCHI, Sandra, Il linguaggio del video, Carocci, Roma, 2009

DEGGIOVANNI, Piero, Antologia critica della video arte italiana 2010-2020, Kaplan edizioni, Torino, 2019

Dipartimento delle Arti visive, Videoart Yearbook. L’annuario della video arte italiana 2006-2007-2008, Fausto Lupetti Editore, Bologna, 2009.

Recommended readings for further information:

AMADUCCI, Alessandro, Videoarte. Storia, autori, linguaggi, Kaplan edizioni, Torino, 2014;

BARTORELLI, Guido, Studi sull’immagine in movimento. Dalle Avanguardie a YouTube, Cleup, Padova, 2015

NALDI, Fabiola, Tell a vision. Il video tra storia e critica, Libri Aparte Editore, Varese, 2012

DI MARINO, Bruno, SPAGNOLETTI, Giovanni, (a cura di), Il mouse e la matita. L’animazione italiana contemporanea, Marsilio, Venezia, 2014

Teaching methods

Lectures accompanied by various audio-visual media, essential to understanding the methodology applied to the course. There will be several meetings (which students are expected to attend) with some of the authors of the books in bibliography and/or with experts from the various fields related to the course. Excursions to exhibitions related to the topics discussed in the lessons are not excluded.

Assessment methods

The exam consists of an oral interview that will be the same for all students (attending and no attending) to evaluate the critical and methodological abilities acquired by the students, and it will be based on the recommended bibliography. Students are expected to demonstrate the acquisition and possession of the fundamentals of the discipline and the methodological approach adopted, including the recognition of images of art works. In this regard, they are invited particularly to focus on the iconographic documentation that accompanies the exam texts and the teacher's educational material on Platform for teaching support service.

Evaluation criteria for the interview:

1. It will be graded as excellent the performance of those students demonstrating to be able to thoroughly analyse the texts and to put them into an organic view of the topics discussed during the course. The proper use of the specific language during the examination will be also essential.

2. It will be graded as satisfactory the performance of those students with mostly mnemonic knowledge, no in-depth analysis capabilities and a correct, but not always appropriate, language of the recommended texts.

3. It will be graded as barely sufficient the performance of those students with approximate knowledge, superficial understanding, poor analytical capabilities and a not always appropriate language.

4. It will be graded as insufficient the performance of those students with learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation within the recommended bibliography.

Teaching tools

Various audiovisual aids (audio files, image projections and digital movies). Through the platform “Insegnamenti online”, students will be provided with images and lecture-based presentations and other educational materials.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Silvia Grandi