WORKSHOP: SCANDALS AND FAILURES: ART EXHIBITIONS THAT REDEFINED SUCCESS WITH JENNIE HIRSH
This five-day course in SITE’s Education Lab examines a series of exhibitions as well as specific artworks that can be described as “failures” or “scandals” in that they sparked controversy, debate, protests, and more that led to productive conversations and even seismic shifts in not only what we include in the canon but also what we consider to be art. Case studies include shows such as the 1993 Whitney Biennial, Sensation (both in 1997 in at the Royal Academy of Arts in London and 1999 at the Brooklyn Museum of Art), Mirroring Evil (2001 Jewish Museum, New York), and, more recently, the Kelley Walker show (in 2017 at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis) and more, as well as now infamous individual artworks stretching from Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ (1987) to such as Dana Schutz’s Open Casket (2017). We will consider the ways in which various social, cultural, and historical factors have affected and also been influenced by art through close readings drawn from art history, art criticism, and artist interviews.
Jennie Hirsh holds a Ph.D. in modern and contemporary art from Bryn Mawr College, where she also earned an MA in Italian Renaissance art. She received an MA in Italian from Middlebury College and BA in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania. A full-time professor at Maryland Institute College of Art, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on global contemporary art, the art and architecture of totalitarian regimes, visual culture and the Holocaust, contemporary portraiture, postwar Italian cinema, curatorial studies, and professional practices. She has authored numerous scholarly articles and exhibition reviews on modern art for academic and trade journals.